The CONTACT experiments, which were carried out by the French CEA, within the framework of a CEA-FRAMATOME collaboration agreement, bear on the behaviour of in-pile irradiated PWR fuel rods. We will focus here upon their results dealing with fission gas release. The experimental device is briefly described, then the following results are given: the kinetics of stable fission gas release for various linear ratings; the instantaneous fractional release rates of radioactive gases versus their decay constant in the range 1.5 10/sup -6/-3.6 10/sup -3/s/sup -1/, for various burnups, as also the influence of fuel temperature. Moreover, the influence of the nature and the pressure of the filling gas upon the release is presented for various linear ratings. The experimental results are discussed and analysed with the purpose to model various physical phenomena involved in the release (low-temperature mechanisms, diffusion).