ASN Report 2017
405 ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2017 Chapter 14 - Nuclear research and miscellaneous industrial facilities ionising radiation owing to the presence of very high level sealed sources. In 2017, CEA carried out modifications on the facility - to eliminate the common mode failure risk on the cabled Pagure and Vulcain channels - and improved access control to the Poséidon and Pagure bunkers. The very high level sources were replaced in 2017 with no noteworthy event being reported. ASN observed improvements in the preparation for the source renewal operations by comparison with the previous operation. In addition, BNI 77 is operated satisfactorily in terms of radiation protection. In 2018, ASN will prescribe the conditions for continued operation of the facility following its periodic safety review, more specifically with regard to the monitoring of structure ageing and the seismic reinforcement of certain elements. 1.2.6 Waste and effluent storage and treatment facilities The CEA waste and effluent storage and treatment facilities are presented in chapter 16. 1.2.7 Installations undergoing decommissioning The CEA facilities undergoing decommissioning, as well as the CEA decommissioning strategy, are presented in chapter 15. 1.3 Planned facilities The purpose of the Astrid project (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration), currently at the design phase, is to build a technology demonstrator for a possible Generation IV electricity generating reactor. This project is supported by CEA, in association with EDF and Areva. Astrid is a sodium-cooled fast neutron reactor project, one of the six technologies being studied by the Generation IV International Forum for the fourth generation of reactors. In anticipation of the regulatory procedures, the first guidelines envisaged for the design of Astrid were presented by CEA in a safety guidance document which underwent technical appraisal and was the subject of ASN requests in a letter of April 2014. ASN thus informed CEA of several demonstrations that would be required for the safety options file. More generally, ASN considers that this reactor must offer a level of safety at least equivalent to that of the EPR type reactors, incorporate the improvements resulting from the lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident and, as a prototype of a fourth generation plant series designed to provide significant safety gains, enable reinforced safety options and measures to be tested. 1.4 ASN’s general assessment of CEA actions The results of 2017 and ASN’s assessment of each facility are detailed per region in chapter 8, in chapter 15 for the facilities being decommissioned and in chapter 16 for the waste processing and storage facilities. ASN considers that the level of safety in the facilities operated by CEA is on the whole satisfactory, in particular the operation of its experimental reactors. However, ASN notes that several CEA decommissioning or waste management projects have deviated (see chapters 15 and 16). CEA’s strategy in these areas is being examined by ASN and ASND and will be the subject of an opinion in 2018. ASN also considers that CEA must reinforce its surveillance and its control of the activities performed by outside contractors, in a context of extensive subcontracting. ASN underlines that the implementation of the action plans resulting from the numerous periodic safety reviews, in association with preparation of the decommissioning files, represents a major safety challenge for the coming years. On the topics of decommissioning and waste and materials management at CEA, ASN observed more efficient oversight in the field by the CEA central level and positive progress. However, this trend remains to be confirmed. Finally, ASN will be vigilant with regard to the actual initiation of the decommissioning operations on the facilities finally shutdown, in accordance with the regulations. 2. Non-CEA nuclear research installations 2.1 Large National Heavy Ion Accelerator (GANIL) The Ganil (National Large Heavy Ion Accelerator) economic interest group was authorised in 1980 to create an accelerator in Caen (BNI 113). This research facility produces, accelerates and distributes ion beams with various energy levels to study the structure of the atom. The intense, high-energy beams produce strong fields of ionising radiation, activating the materials in contact, which then emit radiation even after the beams have stopped. Exposure to ionising radiation is thus the primary risk at the Ganil. In order to be able to produce exotic nuclei 2 , the Ganil was authorised in 2012 to build phase 1 of the SPIRAL 2 project. ASN issued the partial commissioning authorisation for this project at the end of 2014. Prior to the commissioning authorisation, the Ganil undertook to answer several ASN requests no later than April 2018. At the end of 2016, after observing that the Ganil was behind schedule in implementing several requirements of ASN resolution 2015-DC-0515 of 7th July 2015 setting limit values for discharge of effluents from the facility into the environment, ASN served the Ganil with formal notice on 21st March 2017, to restore conformity before 2 . The “exotic nuclei” are nuclei which do not exist naturally on Earth. They are created artificially in the Ganil for nuclear physics experiments on the origins and structure of matter.