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French science
Higher education
EPCSP University-grade institutes
Autonomous institutes
Écoles normales supérieures
Grands établissements

Grandes écoles

EPST (public research labs)
Cemagref (agriculture)
CNRS (fundamental sciences)
INED (demography)
INRA (agronomy)
INRETS (transports)
INRIA (IT and automatic)
INSERM (medicine)
IRD (development)
LCPC (civil engineering)
EPIC (public industry)
CEA (nuclear industry)
Ifremer (maritime applications)
ONERA (aerospace)

The Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (English: Commission for Atomic Energy) or CEA, is a French “public establishment related to industrial and commercial activities” whose mission is to develop all applications of nuclear power, both civilian and military. CEA is headed by a board headed by the general administrator (currently Bernard Bigot), advised by the high-commissioner for atomic energy (currently Catherine Cesarsky). The missions of the CEA are equivalent to those of the United States Department of Energy. Its yearly budget amounts to 3.3 billion euros and its permanent staff is over 15,000 persons.

CEA was created in 1945; since then, the successive high-commissioners have been Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Francis Perrin, Jacques Yvon, Jean Teillac, Raoul Dautry, René Pellat, Bernard Bigot and the incumbent.

It conducts fundamental and applied research into many areas, including the design of nuclear reactors, the manufacturing of integrated circuits, the use of radionucleides for curing illnesses, seismology and tsunami propagation, the safety of computerized systems, etc.

It has one of the top 10 supercomputers in the world, the Tera-10.

It is divided into 5 directions, or divisions:

  • the division of nuclear energy (DEN);
  • the division of technological research (DRT);
  • the division of life sciences (DSV);
  • the division of sciences of matter (DSM);
  • the division of military applications (DAM), which builds the nuclear weapons of the French military and designs the power plants of the nuclear submarines of the French Navy

In december 2009 French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared [1] that CEA should change its name to Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (English: Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies).




Civilian research centres

Research centres for military applications

External links


  1. ^ See Les Echos in French


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