The Cadarache Nuclear Studies Center (CEN)
The Cadarache nuclear research center (CEN - Centre
d'Etudes Nucléaires) was created in 1959 by the CEA (Commissariat
à l'énergie atomique), at the confluence of the Verdon
and Durance rivers, on a 1,625 hectare site in the Bouches-du-Rhône
region. It is the largest CEA complex outside the Paris region, with
450 buildings and 5,000 employees.
The main focus of the research carried out at the Center,
using the on-site experimental reactors (Cabri, Scarabée, Phébus,
etc.), is the industrial application of research and development work
on uranium- and plutonium-based fuels. Several departments cover a wide
range of activities: Reactor Studies (DER), Fuel Studies (DEC), Safety
Research (DRS), Controlled Fusion Research (DRFC) and Temporary and
Permanent Storage of Waste (DESD).
Other bodies add to the range of research: Center for
Study of Solar Energy, Department of Plant Eco-Physiology and Microbiology,
Industrial Recycling, etc. The DER and DEC departments represent around
50 per cent of the activity, the DRS and DRFC 20 per cent each, and
waste treatment 9 per cent.
The CEA's Cadarache center also houses some of its
subsidiaries. For example, Technicatome makes prototype reactors for
naval nuclear propulsion systems (submarines and aircraft carriers).
COGEMA is engaged in activities relating to the nuclear fuel cycle in
the Cadarache production complex (CFCa - Complexe de Fabrication de
Combustible au Plutonium). The Société des Techniques
en Milieu Ionisant (STMI), Intercontrôle and Compagnie Internationale
de Services en Informatique (CISI) companies are also present.
be continued (The Cadarache production complex)