French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission

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French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique
et aux énergies alternatives
CEA logotype2012.png
Agency overview
Formed October 18, 1945
Preceding agency
  • Commissariat à l'énergie atomique
Headquarters Paris and Gif-sur-Yvette, France
Employees 15,989 (2010)[1]
Annual budget 4.7 billion € (2009)
Agency executives
Website (in English)
Former logo of CEA

The [French] Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (French: Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives) or CEA, is a French public government-funded research organisation in the areas of energy, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. The CEA maintains a cross-disciplinary culture of engineers and researchers, building on the synergies between fundamental and technological research.

CEA is headed by a board headed by the general administrator (currently Daniel Verwaerde), advised by the high-commissioner for atomic energy (currently Yves Bréchet). The missions of the CEA are equivalent to those of the United States Department of Energy. Its yearly budget amounts to 4.7 billion euros and its permanent staff is slightly under 16,000 persons.[1] It owns Areva.

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 Daniel Verwaerde.

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 100 supercomputers in the world, the Tera-100.

In March 2016, Reuters published an article describing the "Top 25 Global Innovators – Government"[2] and placed CEA as number one amongst "The World's Most Innovative Research Institutions"[2]


CEA 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[3] that CEA, at this time named Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (English: Commission for Atomic Energy) should change its name to Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (English: Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies); this change took effect on March 10, 2010, when the decision was published in the French Official Journal.


Civilian research centres[edit]

Civilian emergency organizations[edit]

Research centres for military applications[edit]

Subsidiaries and minority interests[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Le CEA, acteur clef de la recherche technologique" (in French). CEA. 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "The World's Most Innovative Research Institutions". Thomson Reuters. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  3. ^ See Les Echos in French
  4. ^ "2014 Reference document" (PDF). Areva. 30 March 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "2014 Annual Report". STMicroelectronics. 26 March 2015. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Connected Articles[edit]


  • Bertrand Goldschmidt, Le Complexe atomique : histoire politique de l’énergie nucléaire, Fayard, 1980
  • Gabrielle Hecht, Le rayonnement de la France : Énergie nucléaire et identité nationale après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, La Découverte, 2004
  • Marie-José Lovérini, L’Atome de la recherche à l’industrie : le Commissariat à l’énergie atomique, Gallimard, 1996
  • Jean-François Picard, Alain Beltran et Martine Bungener, Histoire de l’EDF : comment se sont prises les décisions de 1946 à nos jours, Dunod, 1985