CEPN is a non-profit organisation created in 1976 to establish a research and development centre in the fields of optimisation of radiological protection and comparison of health and environmental risks associated with energy systems.

This program was initially strongly focused on the development and application of the principle of optimization of radiological protection. Over the past few years, however, the group’s research programme has also been directed towards the involvement of stakeholders in radiological risk assessment and management, and spreading the radiological protection culture.

The studies are undertaken by a group of around fifteen engineers and economists. The research programme is evaluated by a Scientific Council.

The association currently has three members: the French public electricity generating utility (EDF), the Institute of Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) and the French Alternatives Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA).

CEPN is a a non-profit organisation created in 1976 to establish a research and development centre in the fields of optimisation of radiological protection and comparison of health and environmental risks associated with energy systems.

Recent publications

Health Surveillance and Management of Populations affected by a Radiation Accident - can Ethics help?

Deborah OUGHTON, Elisabeth CARDIS, Thierry SCHNEIDER, Liudmila LIUSTSKO, Adelaida SARUKHAN

ERPW - 2nd European Radiological Protection Research Week.
10-12 October 2017, Paris.


Public concerns about the potential health consequences of radiation exposures rank high after an accident. However, strategies for health surveillance of populations are often at odds with the actual needs of the affected populations and, if not carried out properly, can cause more harm than good. A striking example is thyroid screening carried out after Fukushima, which has been claimed to have exacer- bated rather than alleviated anxiety in the participants and their families.

The EU SHAMISEN project has recently published a set of recommendations concerning health surveillance after a nuclear accident or other disasters. Experience suggested that an update of emergency preparedness in this area was needed for a number of reasons. These include the fact that existing recommendations had a technical focus, with less attention paid to social, ethical, psychological issues and that the information tended to be directed towards the de- cisions made by experts rather than for support of affected populations. Finally, there have been a number of changes in legal and ethical requirements for health surveillance and epidemiological studies (e.g., related to data protec- tion) that need consideration. This paper presents the main conclusions and recommendations of the Shamisen project, with a particular focus on the ethical challenges related to health surveillance. The general recommendations address the need to do more good than harm, to respect dignity and to be sensitive to inequities from variability in the distribu- tion of risk. An overarching theme that is re ected in many recommendations is the promotion of a health surveillance strategy that targets the overall well-being of populations, that addresses not only radiation effects, but also aims to identify and alleviate psychosocial impacts.

Drawing on values identi ed in the ICRP report on the eth- ical foundations of radiological protection (currently out for public consultation www.icrp.org), we identify ethically relevant issues linked to bene cence/non-male cence, dig- nity, justice and prudence. We examine the ethical dilemmas that can arise for decision-makers, with the aim of improving understanding about the challenges of health surveillance and radiation risk management. We conclude that, in order for radiation protection to avoid causing more harm than good, there is a need to: 1) address the societal, ethical and psychological impacts of countermeasures; 2) be transparent about the objectives and aims of health surveillance; and 3) engage local populations in the design, implementation and follow-up of radiation risk assessment and management.

Acknowledgements Acknowledgement: the SHAMISEN project is part of the OPERRA (Open Project for the European Radiation Research Area, grant number 604984), and has also been supported by the Norwegian Research Council (project nr. 263856). The authors thank all SHAMISEN project members and stakeholders for constructive discussions.

Exhibitions / Projects

Vous avez dit Radioprotection ?

Vous avez dit Radioprotection ?

Did you Say Radiation Protection? Stories of X-Rays, Radioactivity, etc …” is a traveling exhibition devoted to radiation protection, that is to say all the means to protect workers, the public and the environment from potentially harmful effects of X-rays and of radioactivity.

Rayons Santé

Rayons Santé

Rays and Health” is a traveling exhibition that aims to educate the general public on the uses of X-rays and radioactivity in medicine by highlighting the expected benefits but also the risks. Several topics are discussed to encourage caregivers and patients to have a reasoned and cautious approach in order to make the best use of X-rays and radioactivity for health.

ETHOS in Belarus

ETHOS en Biélorussie

Le projet européen ETHOS avait pour but d’améliorer durablement les conditions de vie des habitants des villages dont la vie quotidienne a été fortement affectée par la présence à long terme de contamination radioactive à la suite de l’accident de Tchernobyl. Il s’agissait d’une nouvelle démarche pluridisciplinaire basée sur une implication forte de la population dans l’évaluation et la gestion du risque radiologique en concertation avec les autorités locales, régionales et nationales et des experts biélorusses.