The C.E.A.

The project ownership of the RICA project is the C.E.A. (“Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux énergies renouvelables” : Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission).
The C.E.A.  is a French public government funded research organization in various areas like energy, defense or security.
The C.E.A. organization regroup 5 research centers in France: Saclay ; Fontenay ; Grenoble ; Cadarache; and Marcoule which is the center responsible of our project.

The C.E.A. Marcoule :

The nuclear site of Marcoule was founded in 1956, near Bagnols-sur-Cèze in the Gard department. Marcoule is 25km west Avignon, and 45km north of Nîmes.
This C.E.A. center is an experiment center in numerous fields like decommissioning nuclear facilities wich explains the development of the RICA robot.
It was for example the first center to develop military and industrial utilization of Plutonium.
Today, the Marcoule center is more specialized in the dismantling and nuclear waste management.
In fact, there are 6 nuclear plants which are in dismantling phase:
  • Phenix :  closed in 2009
  • G1,G2;G3 : respectively closed in 1968,1980 and 1984
  • UP1 : closed in 1997
  • Celestin I : closed in 2009

Many other installations are working on the nuclear waste management:
  • CENTRACO : Nuclear center for treatment and conditioning
  • ATALANTE : Laboratory working on irradiated fuel treatment and management of high level radioactive waste

The knowledge developed in Marcoule in this field could be very important for dismantling nuclear installation in France, as in the rest of the World like in Fukushima for example.


One of the main contributors in the RICA project is the company Cyberia. The CEA worked with them for the creation of all the anterior versions of RICA.


Cyberia robotics is a French society created in 1996 that has international businesses. Most of their customers are big companies like EDF & the CEA in France, General Electrics in the US or Summitomo in Japan.
They’re active in five domains : Nuclear, high temperature, offshore, petrochemicals and energy. They have three areas of expertise : robotics, vision and applied electronics. Cyberia has an important background in the development of robots and cameras that operates in hostile environments. That’s why the CEA selected them for the development of the RICA.  
Below we can see some products of Cyberia.
The robot named Char Snoopy, it’s a remoted operating robot that is built to work in nuclear environment.
Figure 2 : Char Snoopy

Bercy is a motorized investigation TV camera that can work underwater.
Figure 3 : Bercy camera

Their robots are designed for:
  • Nuclear plants
  • Fuel elements manufacturing
  • Waste management
  • Reprocessing – Recycling

Cyberia has over 20 years experience in nuclear power. Its main customers come from all over the world :

  • AREVA (Framatome, Cogema, Melox, Fragema ,Mécachimie , SGN, Canberra, Technicatome)
  • EDF (centrales nucléaires, centres de recherche)
  • CEA (Marcoule, Cadarache, Saclay, Pierrelatte)
  • SUEZ (SRA Savac , INEO )
  • Summitomo
  • General electric
  • RCCL
  • KTV
  • Carotec
  • Holland American line   
  • TPC