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

Ethical Considerations on the Empowerment of People living in Contaminated Areas after a Nuclear Accident?


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


Fukushima as previously Chernobyl highlighted the importance of involving the population with the support of national and local authorities and experts to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of protection actions in contaminated territories.

The empowerment of inhabitants is a key factor for the success of this involvement but is strongly questioned. That leads to important ethical questions such as: is this a strategy to let inhabitants alone to face the post-accident situation and for authorities and experts to be relieved of their responsibilities?

After the Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents, stakeholder involvement processes have been implemented in a few com- munities in Belarus, Norway and Japan. In this context, the availability of measurements devices for the inhabitants is crucial to allow them to assess their own radiological situation. Measurements allow to make radioactivity visible and to talk about it with others. Progressively people build their own reference and regain power to make choices and to retrieve control on their daily-life. One of the major lessons is the following: to protect ef ciently the inhabitants living in contaminated areas, experts must work in cooperation with the local actors and develop together a co-expertise process.

But helping people to protect themselves does not mean that authorities and experts have no responsibilities and call for strong ethical principles; rst of all is the refusal to take decision for the people about their future. To be helpful, scientists need to understand that, as necessary as radiation protection is, it is not the only issue inhabitants are facing and it cannot handle people’s lives. Radiation protection experts must commit themselves to be at the service of individuals and the community and the issues they want to address.

It’s the responsibility of authorities and experts to implement the conditions based on a governance involving the inhabitants allowing respect of freedom and justice. They have also the duty to address collective challenges such as ensuring equity between individuals and communities.

This paper will discuss the ethical considerations to be ad- dressed by experts and authorities in the empowerment process for people living in contaminated areas after a nuclear accident.

A focus will be done on the questions raised on the current process of lifting the evacuation orders after the Fukushima accident.


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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.