Aids, platforms, materials and textbooks for learning
The INSTN has a varied and outstanding range of teaching platforms and materials geared to the audiences, objectives and content of its training courses. Participants can apply their acquired knowledge and skills in practical sessions carried out in real-life or simulated situations, which are very close to real environments or workstations.
The INSTN has training platforms at Cherbourg-Octeville, Marcoule and Saclay dedicated to operations on basic nuclear facilities and radiation protection. These include:
- dressing and undressing facilities to learn how to enter and exit regulated areas, etc.;
- full-scale mock-up facilities for hands-on training in intervention or decontamination techniques in hostile environments;
- glove boxes and inactive shielded cells.
The training platform at Cherbourg-Octeville has been expanded and now delivers the latest training designed by EDF for its sub-contractors.
A glovebox has been added to the Saclay platform to cater for the latest CEFRI (French Commission providing certification to companies for the training and monitoring staff working with ionising radiation) requirements, while at Marcoule, a new training platform built outside the CEA centre has been up and running since September 2015.
Practical work laboratories
The INSTN constantly renews and modernises its practical work classrooms which feature an array of scientific and technical equipment similar to that encountered in research and industry. This includes equipment for:
- biology and radiobiology (liquid scintillation detectors, gamma counters, proportional counters, PCR machines and dose calibrators, etc.);
- radiochemistry and related spectrometry (alpha, gamma and beta);
- metallurgy and materials characterisation (scanning electron microscopes, an X-ray diffractometer, a Germanium detector, dilatometer, tensile and hardness test machines, polishers, optical microscopes, thermal treatment ovens, etc.);
- beta, gamma, neutron and X-ray radiation detection and measurement (detectors, neutron source, spectrometry software, cloud chamber, etc.).
Computer rooms and equipment
The INSTN’s computer rooms are fitted with:
- simulators (C-PWR, M-PWR, SOFIA, VERT, DEMplus® for nuclear, etc.);
- research & development calculation codes (Castem, Apollo, Cathare, Flica, Tripoli-4) and protection codes (Microshield, Dosimex, etc.);
- computer-aided instruction (EAO) applications (reactor kinetics, kinetics of poisons).
Access to nuclear operator facilities
The CEA, and other nuclear industry operators (EDF, AREVA, ANDRA, IRSN, etc), facilitate INSTN trainee access to their installations through study visits and occasionally, practical work sessions. These include:
- basic nuclear facilities such as mass and X-ray fluorescence spectrometers, LIBS, accelerators, research reactors, cycle installations, hot laboratories (irradiated materials, fuels, radioactive waste, etc.), waste disposal and processing facilities and facilities under decommissioning, etc.;
One particular highlight is the possibility of running practical sessions at the ISIS training reactor, operated by the CEA’s Nuclear Energy Division (DEN) at Saclay;
- intensive calculation clusters.
Over the years, the INSTN has capitalised on its teaching approaches in various scientific books, including;
- 16 books in the “Nuclear Engineering” series, including two in English,
- 4 books in the “Personne compétente en radioprotection” (PCR) series,
- 1 book in English on the radiation protection basics,
- 1 book on dosimetry applied to radiation protection.