Home > ASN actions > Nuclear activities: ionising radiations and health and environmental risks
Eléments marquants
Actions de l'ASN
Activités contrôlées

Nuclear activities: ionising radiations and health and environmental risks


Chapter 01

  1. Knowledge of the hazards and risks from ionising radiations
    1. Biological and health effects
    2. Evaluation of risks linked to ionising radiations
    3. Scientific uncertainty and vigilance
  2. Nuclear activities regulated by ASN
    1. Basic nuclear installations (BNIS)
      1. Definition
      2. Accident prevention and nuclear safety
      3. Prevention of risks for workers
      4. Impact of BNIS on the environment and the population
    2. Transport of radioactive and fissile material for civil use
    3. Small-scale nuclear activities
    4. Disposal of radioactive waste
    5. Contaminated sites
    6. Activities enhancing natural ionising radiations
  3. Monitoring of exposure to ionising radiations
    1. Exposure of the population to natural ionising radiations
    2. Doses received by workers
      1. Exposure of nuclear workers
      2. Worker exposure to enhanced natural ionising radiations
      3. Flight crew exposure to cosmic radiation
    3. Doses received by the population as a result of nuclear activities
    4. Doses received by patients
    5. Protection of non-human species
  4. Outlook

Download the chapter Pdf

Exposures monitoring requires a particular effort in order to better identify the population categories or groups which are most exposed. The interest of this is three-fold: this knowledge should lead to better targeting of risk reduction efforts (optimisation), provide reliable indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of public policy and develop epidemiological surveys for an improved approach to the risk. Thus:

  • as in previous years, the results of the measurement of the doses received by workers in 2008, published by IRSN, confirm the drop in the number of monitored workers for whom the annual dose exceeded 20 mSv, as well as the drop in the collective dose, which began in 1996. However, these results do not take account of internal dosimetry and dosimetry of the extremities, which are not at present recorded by IRSN. As it is tasked with organising a permanent radiation protection watch, ASN remains particularly attentive to the correct working of the exposure monitoring system set up by IRSN (SISERI), in that the statistics provided constitute valuable national indicators of trends in worker exposure and are useful in assessing the effectiveness of the measures taken by the licensees to apply the optimisation principle;

  • exposure of the French population to radon is at present inadequately documented, as the estimates produced by IRSN in 1997 have never been updated and fail to take account of the measurements taken since 1999 in premises open to the public. During its preparation of the new radon risks national action plan, ASN asked that the possible creation of a database containing all available data on the radon exposure of the public and workers be examined, as ASN considers this to be a necessary step in gaining a clearer understanding of the risk involved;

  •  finally, ASN underlines the interest of the forthcoming work to be done by the national patient exposure observatory, run by InVS and IRSN, which should soon benefit from the new social security classification of medical procedures and thus allow monitoring of a cohort of 600,000 patients treated by the private sector for the past 20 years.
    The Versailles International Conference on Modern Radiotherapy, held in December 2009 by ASN, underlined the need to intensify efforts, both locally and internationally, in the field of recording and analysing treatment side-effects and complications and to develop significant event notification systems for analysis and operating experience feedback purposes. Introduction of the system for notifying serious undesirable events by InVS, interfaced with the radiation protection events notification system implemented by ASN, will constitute very real progress once these effects can be analysed from the medical and scientific viewpoints.

In addition to its regulatory duties, ASN closely monitors developments in research and knowledge in the field of health and ionising radiations, as well as in international radiation protection doctrine. The question of hyper-sensitivity to ionising radiations, examined at the Versailles international conference, should be given particular attention in terms of applied research so that a patient radiation sensitivity test can be developed rapidly.

More precisely, in 2010, ASN:

  • will conduct a review of current research programmes, the results of which could have an impact on the radiation protection system and its regulation;

  • will examine the conclusions of the expert reviews it requested on the occurrence of child leukaemia around BNIs and on the environmental impact of tritium discharges.

Contact us | Privacy policy / credits | Links | ASN website