24 November 1999





In the spring of 2001, the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and the French Institut de protection et de sûreté nucléaire (IPSN) will organise an international intercomparison of dosimetry systems used in the event of criticality(1) or other high-exposure accidents, at the SILENE reactor(2) located on the Valduc site (Commissariat à líénergie atomique -- CEA, France).

This will be the sixth exercise, following those organised in France (1970), the United States (1971), Yugoslavia (1973), the United Kingdom (1975) and France (1993). This last intercomparison(3) allowed 14 countries (Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Poland, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, United States) to carry out a full-scale test, i.e. with radiation fields representative of criticality and other accidents, of their means of measuring and evaluating doses.

The proposed exercise will make it possible to benchmark current physical dosimetry systems used to measure radiation fields encountered in accident situations, including biological dosimetry for estimating doses (by counting chromosome abnormalities or other applicable techniques), to qualify the personal dosimeters routinely used and to validate calculation codes. The accident scenarios to be reproduced in the SILENE reactor will be selected in consultation with the participants.

This intercomparison exercise is aimed at all organisations concerned with this type of dosimetry and at industrialists anxious to test their instruments in reference radiation fields. Specialised conferences will be held in parallel with the exercise.

Scientific or industrial bodies and safety authorities wishing to take part in this exercise must apply to the OECD before the end of February 2000.


News Media Contact: NEA
-- web site: http://www.oecd-nea.org
  IPSN Emmanuelle Gailliez -- Tel.: +33 1 4654 9127 -- Fax: +33 (0)1 4654 8451
e-mail: emmanuelle.gailliez@ipsn.fr -- web site: http://www.ipsn.fr


Contact for registration

Edward N. LAZO -- NEA/OECD

Tel.: +33 1 4524 1042 -- Fax: +33 (0)1 4524 1110 -- e-mail: lazo@oecd-nea.org

Contacts for technical information

Roger MEDIONI -- IPSN -- Département de protection de la santé de líhomme et de dosimétrie

Tel.: +33 1 4654 7539 -- Fax: +33 (0)1 4746 9777 -- e-mail: roger.medioni@ipsn.fr

Bernard VERREY -- IPSN -- Département de prévention et díétude des accidents

Tel.: +33 (0)3 8023 5185 -- Fax: +33 (0)3 8023 5222 -- e-mail: bernard.verrey@cea.fr



(1) An uncontrolled fissile chain reaction, capable of delivering high doses to workers close to the place of the accident.

(2) The IPSN's experimental reactor which makes it possible to reproduce in complete safety a large range of criticality accident scenarios.

(3) Organised and financed by IPSN. Co-financed by the European Communities (EC), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the US Dept. of Energy (USDOE).