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The first teams arrived in 1952. Ever since the centre has lived with on-going construction work on large items of equipment (reactors, accelerators) and laboratories, ever more hightech, always at the cutting edge of technology to keep pace with scientific progress. Certitudes and questions follow on from each other, thus contributing to the growth and expansion of the number of fields of research, which nowadays cover a very wide range of disciplines and skills.
Every day, 6000 people come to the centre. Most of these are scientists: physicists, chemists, biologists, engineers and technicians, involved in research or teaching programmes, responsible for safety of the plant and security of the people there, or for environmental monitoring. The others are involved in running the centre, a task which is somewhere in between managing a company and running a town.
The highly scientific and multi-disciplinary nature of research contributes to the diversity and richness of the CEA centre at Saclay. The many programmes of national, European and international research in which it is involved, and the multitude of contacts it has made with regional industry demonstrate its dynamism and its openness to the outside world, and to the future.