JRC research topics

The JRC carries out research in a wide variety of fields. Located across five sites throughout the EU, seven research institutes work in the areas of agriculture and food security, energy and transport, environment and climate change, health and consumer protection, information society, safety and security, innovation and growth, measurements and standards, and nuclear safety and security.

  1. Nuclear fuel safety is the basic component of all safety requirements associated with nuclear energy production. The ultimate goal is to ensure that fuel rods in the reactor core will fulfil their main safety function, which consists of retaining all radionuclides, while generating energy. 


    Science Areas: Nuclear safety and security, Safety and Security
    Keywords: nuclear, safety, fuel
  2. Nuclear safety research at the JRC encompasses both the safety of the reactors and of nuclear fuel itself. Research includes initiatives such as the EU's Clearinghouse, resources like the European Atlas of Natural Radiation (EANR), and collaborations with the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA).


    Science Areas: Nuclear safety and security, Safety and Security
    Keywords: nuclear, safety
  3. The safe handling, storage and disposal of nuclear fuel is hugely important in the area of nuclear research, and includes the areas of long-term storage, retrievability and recoverability requirements, and safe decommissioning.


    Science Areas: Nuclear safety and security, Safety and Security
    Keywords: nuclear, safety, waste, fuel
  4. As one of the EU initiatives to ensure maritime security and counter piracy, the JRC helps African authoriries – in the context of the Piracy, Maritime Awareness and Risks - Maritime Security (PMAR-MASE) project – to build up their own capacities for maritime awareness.


    Science Areas: Safety and Security
    Keywords: surveillance, sea
  5. The JRC supports efforts to protect citizens from the disaster risks, both accidental and deliberate, of hazardous industrial installations. This work includes managing a database of industrial accident reports, disseminating best practices for inspection of industrial sites and supporting EU member states in risk assessment of industrial accidents.


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change, Safety and Security
    Keywords: hazard, accident
  6. All EU Member States are required to monitor radioactivity in the environment. The JRC is responsible for collecting this data in standardised form, where it is then validated and compiled into databases.


    Science Areas: Environment and climate change, Nuclear safety and security, Safety and Security
    Keywords: nuclear, safety, environment
  7. The JRC, together with the European Railways Agency (ERA), has developed the European Railway Accident Information Links (ERAIL) system, where all railway accident reports and the biannual safety performance indicators of the Member States are recorded, according to Directive 2004/49/EC.


    Science Areas: Energy and transport, Safety and Security
    Keywords: transport, safety, accident
  8. Reactor safety research at the JRC contributes to the implementation of the Nuclear Safety Directive in order to ensure the highest standards of safety are achieved and maintained throughout the EU.


    Science Areas: Nuclear safety and security, Safety and Security
    Keywords: nuclear, safety, reactor
  9. The regular occurrence of food borne pathogen related outbreaks in the EU, the ongoing struggle with pathogens in health care and public health as well as the security threat related to the potential misuse of pathogens emphasise the need for an adequate and reliable monitoring system and preparedness against these risks. Consequently the JRC is aiming at maintaining a high level of quality of the measurements which have to be carried out in this context by developing and providing suitable quality assurance tools, such as reference materials, and measurement techniques.


    Science Areas: Health and consumer protection, Safety and Security, Standards
    Keywords: reference material, microbiology
  10. The JRC has been successfully involved in the design and implementation of the digital tachograph, which became mandatory in 2006 on all newly registered commercial trucks and buses across the EU.


    Science Areas: Energy and transport, Safety and Security
    Keywords: transport, safety