The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) is an independent
administrative authority created by
the Act on transparency and security in the
nuclear field (TSN) of 13 June 2006. It actually
started functioning on 13 November 2006, the date on
which the five members of the Commission that runs the
authority took up their duties.
After slightly more than one year of active existence, the
ASN Commission is therefore honoured to be able to
introduce the report on the state of nuclear safety and
radiation protection in France in 2007.
On behalf of the state, the role of ASN is to regulate
nuclear safety and radiation protection in France, in order
to protect workers, patients, the public and the environment
from the risks linked to nuclear activities, and to
contribute to informing the citizens.
As an independent administrative authority, ASN is the direct descendent of the previous nuclear safety authority. There is thus significant continuity in ASN's duties, goals and values: continuity in the scope of our regulatory work,
continuity in how we conceive of and execute our tasks, continuity in our personnel, and continuity in the technical support we receive from the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN).
However, one essential change was made by the TSN Act: it concerns the status, legitimacy and independence that this Act gives to the Nuclear Safety Authority.
This status, legitimacy and independence are embodied in the fivemember Commission, whose decisions throughout 2007 clearly reflect ASN's new dimension. As mentioned in the introduction from the Director General, 2007 was marked by the implementation of a new legislative and regulatory framework arising from the TSN Act and the Act of 28 June 2006 on the sustainable management of radioactive materials and wastes. The year was relatively satisfactory from the nuclear safety viewpoint and, as was the case in the previous two years, slightly less so with regard to radiation protection. The medical field has been marked by the declaration to ASN of a number of serious radiotherapy accidents which have led to several deaths or the need for extensive surgery.
The Commission's main concern is to continue to develop policy within its field of competence, to make it public and to explain it in order to demonstrate the overall consistency of its actions. It also wishes to see ASN being able to develop its resources and independence, particularly in terms of budget. However, independence and autonomy do not mean isolation and this is why ASN intends to maintain and indeed strengthen its relations with the other institutional bodies working in the same fields or also enjoying independent administrative authority status.
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