176 ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2017 Chapter 06 - Informing the public and other audiences 1.4 ASN’s relations with elected officials and institutional bodies In 2017, ASN was heard on some ten occasions before Parliament with respect to its activities and subjects relating to nuclear safety and radiation protection and with regard to the budget bill for 2018. On 30th November, ASN presented its Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2016 to the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices (OPECST). This report, which constitutes the reference document on the state of the activities regulated by ASN, is effectively submitted each year to the President of the Republic, to the Government and to the Parliament. It is also sent out to more than 2,000 addressees: heads of administrative authorities, elected officials, licensees and persons/entities in charge of regulated activities or installations, associations, professional unions and learned societies. ASN also maintains regular contact with the national and local elected officials and interchanges with its institutional contacts on subjects relating to nuclear safety and radiation protection. Participation of ASN and IRSN at the 21st Mayors and Local Authorities Exhibition For the fourth year running ASN was present at the Mayors and Local Authorities Exhibition which ran from 21st to 23rd November, sharing a stand with IRSN, its technical support organisation. The urban planning -related issues were widely discussed with the mayors of municipalities situated in off-site emergency plan zones. It also provided an opportunity to present the changes in the www.mesure-radioactivite.fr website created by ASN and IRSN in 2010. 1.5 International cooperation in the field of communication ASN invests itself on the international scene to promote experience feedback and the sharing of best practices in informing the public. In 2017, ASN continued its participation in the Communication Working Group (WGPC) coordinated by the Nuclear Energy Agency. ASN took part in a cooperation mission financed by the European Commission to help the Vietnamese nuclear regulator establish an information policy that meets the best international standards (see chapter 7). Each year ASN receives foreign delegations wishing to find out more about its practices. 1.6 ASN staff and information In order to issue high-quality, clear and understandable information, ASN offers its staff training in spoken and written communication and emergency management, tailored to their various responsibilities. ASN has a duty to inform the public in the event of an emergency situation 3 . In order to prepare for this, ASN staff receive specific training and take part in emergency exercises. In 2017, eight emergency exercises included simulated media pressure from journalists, designed to assess and strengthen ASN’s responsiveness to the media, as well as the consistency and quality of the messages put across by the various stakeholders, both nationally and locally (see chapter 5). 2. Reinforcing the right to information and participation of the public ASN is extremely vigilant in the application of all the legislative and regulatory provisions governing transparency and access of the various audiences to information. ASN also ensures they are applied by the licensees under its oversight, and it endeavours to facilitate interchanges between the stakeholders. 2.1 Information provided by the licensees The main licensees of nuclear activities implement a proactive public information policy. They are also subject to a number of legal obligations, either general, such as the environmental report required by the Commercial Code for joint stock companies, or specific to the nuclear sector as detailed below. The annual public information report drawn up by the BNI licensees All BNI licensees must establish an annual report concerning more specifically their situation and the steps they take with regard to the prevention of risks for public health and the environment. 4 In 2010 ASN published a guide containing recommendations for the drafting of these reports (ASN Guide No.3, Recommendations for drafting the annual public information reports relative to basic nuclear installations ). The reports are often presented to the CLIs. Access to information in the possession of the licensees Since the TSN Act came into force, the nuclear field has a unique system governing public access to information. In application of the Environment Code, licensees must communicate to any person who so requests, the information they hold on the risks their activity presents for public health and the environment and on the measures taken to prevent or mitigate these risks. This right to information on the risks also concerns those responsible for the transport of radioactive substances when the quantities involved exceed the thresholds set by law. 3 . Pursuant to the provisions of Article L. 592-32 of the Environment Code. 4 . See Article L. 121-15 of the Environment Code.