ASN Report 2018

4.4  ̶  The Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency The Convention on Assistance in the Case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency came into force on 26 February 1987 and as at 31 December 2018, there are 117 contracting parties. Its purpose is to facilitate cooperation between countries if one of them were to be affected by an accident with radiological consequences. This Convention has already been used on several occasions for irradiation accidents due to abandoned radioactive sources. France’s specialised services have notably already taken charge of treating victims of such accidents. 4.5  ̶  Other conventions linked to nuclear safety and radiation protection Other international conventions, the scope of which does not fall within the remit of ASN, may be linked to nuclear safety. Of particular relevance is the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, the purpose of which is to reinforce protection against malicious acts and against misappropriation of nuclear materials. The Convention came into force on 8 February 1987. It had 155 contracting parties in 2017. An amendment to this convention, which entered into force in 2016, was ratified by 115 of them. 5 —  Bilateral relations ASN collaborates with numerous countries through bilateral agreements, which can take the form of governmental agreements (such as with Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland) or administrative arrangements between ASN and its counterparts (about twenty). ASN and its counterparts hold discussions on subjects which frequently concern topical national safety and radiation protection matters (legislation, safety topics, incidents, inspection approach, etc.). Maintaining and strengthening bilateral relations with neighbouring and the other European countries is also one of ASN’s priorities. Many topics were the subject of ASN bilateral relations in 2018 and they can be placed in three main categories: ∙ ∙ new constructions with regard to start-up tests and manufacturing inspections; ∙ ∙ peer inspections of installations concerning a broad diversity of topics: decommissioning, radiation protection, unit outages, post-operational clean-out inspection, fuel cycle and new medical technologies; ∙ ∙ emergency management, more specifically coordination between border countries in the event of an accident in a facility. 5.1  ̶  Bilateral cooperation between ASN and its foreign counterparts Bilateral relations between ASN and its foreign counterparts are built around an approach incorporating nuclear safety and radiation protection, including preparedness for managing and responding to emergency situations, for each of the countries with which ASN maintains such relations. ASN’s bilateral relations with its partners were primarily marked by the events listed below: South Africa In 2018 , under the Convention on Assistance in the case of a Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency, ASN was contacted for an assistance request concerning a person subjected to accidental over-exposure during medical treatment. Germany The Franco-German Commission (DFK) was created as an inter- governmental body and involves several competent authorities at both national and Prefect levels. With regard to ASN, it involves both the head office departments and the Strasbourg regional division. From 18 to 19 June 2018 , a plenary meeting of the Franco- German commission was held in Ludwigsburg (Germany). This meeting covered the latest changes to the national regulatory frameworks and the work of the commission’s Working Groups (WG). It also confirmed the need for work on the “waste” and “decommissioning” topics. Working Group No.1, dedicated to the safety of NPPs in a border area, met on 18 September in Givet (Ardennes département ). The discussions focused on site assessments, the significant events situation and technical subjects of mutual interest (lifting the suspension of the test certificate for the Fessenheim steam generator, thermal sleeves on the 1,300 MWe Emergency exercise at Fessenheim on 12 June 2018 – Germany & Switzerland On 12 June 2018, a nuclear emergency exercise was held in the Fessenheim NPP. It was more particularly aimed at testing the alert and information chain for the services, municipalities and border countries (Germany and Switzerland), activation of the emergency centres and the decision-making process. International coordination at the local and national level took place in good conditions and was considered to be satisfactory. However, it required significant resources, in particular at the local level, which may not necessarily always be available in the event of a real emergency. In addition to the notifications sent to the international bodies, ASN also invited two foreign counterparts to its emergency centre. In the capacity of observers, they were able to gain a more detailed and more rapid understanding of the emergency situation than the contacts at the local level, thus confirming the benefit of having foreign liaison staff present in the country where the accident occurred. 194  ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2018 06 – INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS