ASN Report 2017

463 ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2017 Chapter 16  - Radioactive waste and contaminated sites and soils of Directive 2013/59/Euratom of 5th December 2013 (see chapter 3). When contamination is caused by an installation that is subject to special policing (BNI, ICPE or nuclear activity governed by the Public Health Code), the sites are managed under the same oversight system. Otherwise, the Prefect oversees the management of the contaminated site. Chapter 8 details the various demands concerning contaminated sites and soils to which the ASN regional divisions responded. 2.2 The Radium Diagnosis operation In October 2010, the State decided to carry out diagnoses in order to detect and if necessary treat any radium contamination resulting from past activities. Discovered by Pierre and Marie Curie in 1898, radium has been used in certain medical (the first cancer treatments) and craft activities (clock-making until the 1950s, due to its property of radioluminescence, and the manufacture of lightning arresters and cosmetic products). These medical or craft activities have left traces of radium on certain sites. A non-exhaustive list drawn up in late 2014 of addresses having accommodated such activities counts more than 160 sites in France. For the occupants of these sites, this operation – free of charge – consisted in performing a diagnosis and rehabilitating the site if radiological contamination was found. The diagnoses carried out by IRSN since the operation began have resulted in 25 premises being rehabilitated and then renovated (21 in Ile-de-France and four in Annemasse). The feedback more than five years after launching the operation shows that the large majority of premises diagnosed are free of radiological contamination. The contamination levels recorded are low and confirm that there is no health risk. The initiation of further diagnosis operations was suspended in March 2014 at the request of the Ministry responsible for the Environment, in order more specifically to modify the conditions of performance of the operation. ASN continues to monitor the sites on which rehabilitation work is still in progress. 2.3 ASN’s international action in the management of contaminated sites and soils ASN has participated since 2012 in the meetings of the International Working Forum on Regulatory Supervision of Legacy Sites 6 (RSLS) organised by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The aim of this forum is to promote interchanges between the various organisations responsible for regulating and monitoring “legacy sites” in order to identify the needs in terms of management and means for preventing the creation of future legacy sites. ASN took part in the forum’s technical seminar held in October 2017 in Bessines-sur-Gartempes. In 2018, the IAEA plans to publish a “Tecdoc” technical document tracing back the interchanges between the countries. ASN also contributes to the work carried out under the CIDER project (Constraints to Implementing Decommissioning and Environmental Remediation programmes) initiated in 2012 by the IAEA. This project aims to identify the main difficulties that contracting parties can encounter, particularly in site rehabilitation, and propose aids to overcome them. In 2018, ASN will continue its collaboration with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA), tasked with managing the “SUPERFUND” programme to protect American citizens against the risks associated with sites polluted by abandoned or unmonitored hazardous waste and particularly sites contaminated by radioactive substances. 3. Outlook ASN considers that the French radioactive waste management system, built around a specific legislative and regulatory framework – a National Plan (the PNGMDR) and an Agency (Andra) for managing radioactive waste which is independent of the waste producers – is capable of regulating and implementing a structured and coherent national waste management policy. ASN considers that there must ultimately be safe management routes for all waste, and more specifically a disposal solution. The French National plan for the Management of Radioactive Materials and Waste ASN will monitor the progress of the studies submitted under the PNGMDR 2016-2018, more specifically within the pluralistic working group that it co-chairs with the DGEC. Depending on the decision of the French national public debate commission, which will be consulted on the methods of organising public participation in the preparation of the PNGMDR 2019-2021, ASN will work alongside the Ministry for Ecological and Inclusive Transition to enable the public to be involved in the draft plan. ASN will also prepare the production of the future PNGMDR through the opinions 6 . International forum on the regulations for sites contaminated by radionuclides, presenting a risk for health and/or the environment and which are a subject of concern for the Authorities. Aerial view of the formerly contaminated Orflam-Plast site in Pargny-sur-Saulx after rehabilitation.