ASN Report 2017

462 ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2017 Chapter 16  - Radioactive waste and contaminated sites and soils 2. Management of sites and soils polluted by radioactive substances A site contaminated by radioactive substances is defined as any site, whether abandoned or in operation, on which natural or artificial radioactive substances have been or are employed or stored in conditions such that the site may constitute a hazard for health and the environment. Contamination by radioactive substances can result from industrial, craft, medical or research activities involving radioactive substances. It can concern the places where these activities are carried out, but also their immediate or more remote vicinity. The activities concerned are generally either nuclear activities as defined by the Public Health Code, or activities concerned by enhanced natural radioactivity, as covered by the Order of 25th May 2005. However, most of the sites contaminated by radioactive substances and today requiring management have been the seat of past industrial activities, dating back to a time when radioactive hazards were not perceived in the same way as at present. The main industrial sectors that generated the radioactive contamination identified today are: radium extraction for medical and para-pharmaceutical needs, from the early 20th century up to the end of the 1930s; the manufacture and application of luminescent radioactive paint for night vision and the industries working ores such as monazite or zircons. Sites contaminated by radioactive substances are managed on a case-by-case basis, which necessitates having a precise diagnosis of the site. Article L.125-6 of the Environment Code provides for the State to create Soil Information Sectors (SIS) in the light of the information at its disposal. These sectors must comprise land areas in which the knowledge of soil contamination justifies – particularly in the case of change of use – carrying out soil analyses and taking contamination management measures to preserve safety, public health and the environment. Decree 2015-1353 of 26th October 2015 defines the conditions of application of these measures. The Regional Directorates for the Environment, Planning and Housing (Dreal) coordinate the SIS development process under the authority of the Prefects. The ASN regional divisions contribute to the process by informing the Dreals of the sites they know to be contaminated by radioactive substances. Ultimately these sites are to be registered in the urban planning documents. The SIS development process is progressive and is not intended to be exhaustive. Several inventories of contaminated sites are available to the public and are complementary: Andra’s national inventory, which is updated every 3 years and comprises the sites identified as contaminated by radioactive substances (the June 2015 edition is available on as well as the Ministry responsible for the Environment’s databases dedicated to contaminated sites and soils (www.georisques. . In October 2012, ASN finalised its doctrine specifying the fundamental principles it has adopted for the management of sites contaminated by radioactive substances. In the event that, depending on the characteristics of the site, this procedure would be difficult to apply, it is in any case necessary to go as far as reasonably possible in the remediation process and to provide elements, whether technical or economic, proving that the remediation operations cannot be taken further and are compatible with the actual or planned use of the site. The ASN doctrine defines the measures to take if complete remediation is not achieved. ASN considers moreover that the stakeholders and audiences concerned must be involved as early as possible in the process to rehabilitate a site contaminated by radioactive substances. ASN also points out that in application of the “polluter- pays” principle written into the Environment Code, those responsible for the contamination finance the operations to rehabilitate the contaminated site and to remove the waste resulting from these operations. If the responsible entities default, Andra, on account of its public service remit and by public requisition, ensures the rehabilitation of radioactive contaminated sites. 2.1 Regulatory framework In reference to Article L. 542-12 of the Environment Code (see point 1.5.1), Andra receives a State subsidy to help fund its assigned missions of general interest. The French National Funding Commission for Radioactive Matters was set up within Andra in 2007. It is chaired by the Director-General of Andra and includes representatives of the Ministries responsible for the Environment, Energy and Health, of ASN, of IRSN, of the Association of Mayors of France, of environmental defence associations and qualified personalities. The commission met four times in 2017, more specifically to decide on the allocation of public funds for the management of contaminated sites considered to be priority cases, such as the sites of Champlay, Limoges and Orléans, as well as those of the Radium Diagnosis operation. The Circular of 17th November 2008 of the Minister responsible for the Environment relative to the management of certain radioactive wastes and sites with radioactive contamination describes the applicable procedure for the management of contaminated radioactive sites governed by the ICPE regime and the Public Health Code, whether the party responsible is solvent or in default. Whatever the case, the Prefect relies on the opinion of the classified installations inspectorate, of ASN and the ARS (Regional Health Agency), to approve the site rehabilitation project, and issues a Prefectural Order to govern implementation of the rehabilitation measures. ASN may thus be called upon by the services of the Prefect and the classified installations inspectors to give its opinion on the clean-out objectives of a site. The currently applicable regulations concerning contaminated sites and soils (excluding ICPE and BNIs) shall be modified and supplemented in 2018 pursuant to the transposition