French Sodium School was founded in 1975 when Sodium Fast reactors were being developed. It corresponded to a strong need due to very specific risks associated to sodium coolant (high reactivity of sodium with a lot of chemical elements, mainly water and air) and the necessity to control them. Teaching method is mainly based on practical aspects.

・It deals with 4 major themes: physico-chemistry of sodium (physical and chemical properties, purification, corrosion, contamination, cleaning, control and analysis), technology (commissioning and operation, design and operation of components, instrumentation, visualization, inspection and repair, practical exercises: operation and intervention on teaching sodium loop and cleaning pit), safety (specific risks, sodium-water reaction, sodium fires, safety rules, prevention, intervention, practical exercise on a real sodium fire), decommissioning (specific risks, cutting processes, sodium treatment, dismantling).

・A panel of 8 different sessions, from 1 to 5 days long, is proposed within INSTN annual booklet:
・The sodium cycle: 5 days for sodium technology basics (particularly for sodium Plants operators)
-The management of contaminated sodium: 5 days for sodium waste treatment basics (particularly for decommissioning activities)
-Sodium loops operation: 3 days for learning and practicing operation rules
-Sodium purification: 3 days for learning and practicing on sodium teaching-loop
-Sodium safety: 1 day for learning sodium risks and parades, and practicing a real sodium fire exercise
-Nak management: 3 days for learning and practicing Nak eutectic
-Intervention on sodium circuits: 3 days for leaning and practicing on sodium teaching-loop
-Cleaning and decontamination of components: for learning and practicing on sodium cleaning teaching-pit

・Specific training sessions <a la carte > can be prepared and delivered. All the courses can be delivered either in French and in English. Trainees keep all presentations and technical documents (CD-ROM or paper).

・Training sessions take place at Cadarache Research Center, in specific teaching room and with specific sodium training facilities: modern pedagogical materials (computer, video), small sodium circuit, small cleaning pit, sodium fire and treatment cells, sodium fountain, exhibition hall for sodium technology mock-ups and materials. Individual final test allows to check knowledge acquisition: then, a certificate is delivered by INSTN teaching service.

・Sodium school teachers (about 30), are CEA and EDF specialists of sodium, PbBi and Nak technology, who daily work on liquid metal facilities for R&D purposes. Direct contact between teachers and trainees, during and after teaching period, allows specific, individual, detailed and deep discussions.

・Trainees attending French sodium school mainly belong to Phenix and Superphenix French SFRs, to safety firemen brigades of CEA Cadarache and Marcoule Research Centers, to AREVA Engineering staffs, but also to chemical industry.