ASN Report 2018

ASN will be particularly attentive to this latter point in the future inspections of research centres. The technical, economic and regulatory difficulties concerning the disposal of old sealed sources are still brought up by the licensees despite entry into effect on 1 July 2015 of Decree 2015‑231 of 27 February 2015 relative to the management of disused sealed radioactive sources. In effect, this text, which aims to facilitate the disposal of sealed sources, gives source holders the possibility of seeking alternative disposal routes with source suppliers or Andra without making it obligatory to return the source to the original supplier. ASN is continuing its collaboration with the IGAENR (General Inspectorate of the National Education and Research Administration), which has competence for labour inspection in the public research sector. An agreement signed in 2014 provides for mutual information sharing to improve the effectiveness and complementarity of the inspections. An annual meeting is held to assess the functioning of this collaboration. In 2018, the first inspection conducted jointly with the IGAENR inspectors provided the opportunity to compare inspection practices. ASN notes a lack of systematic recording and analysis of events that could lead to accidental or unintentional exposure of people to ionising radiation. 35% of the inspected structures do not have a system for recording and analysing these events. In 2018, ASN recorded 25 ESRs concerning research activities, which is 10 more than in 2017. The reported significant events are of three main types: ∙ ∙ theft or loss of radioactive sources (21%); ∙ ∙ discovery of sources (25%); ∙ ∙ the unauthorised discharging of radionuclides into the environment or waste disposal via the wrong route (17%). The predominance of the first two causes of ESRs tallies with findings made for the 2014‑2016 period. The losses and discoveries of sources can be explained in particular by poor overall traceability: lack of measures in the past to dispose of the sources when the laboratories ceased their activities, and/or irregular and non-exhaustive inventorying of sources. The unauthorised discharging of radionuclides into the environment and the directing of waste to the wrong disposal route are linked to the type of sources used in this sector, these being mainly unsealed sources. Such events must be reported to ASN, even in the case of misdirected waste being recovered and redirected to the appropriate disposal routes. Research activities The use of ionising radiation in research activities extends to various fields such as medical research, molecular biology, the agri-food industry, materials characterisation, etc. It primarily involves the use of unsealed sources (iodine-125, phosphorous-32, phosphorous-33, sulphur-35, tritium-3, carbon-14, etc.). Sealed sources (barium-133, nickel-63, caesium-137, cobalt-60, etc.) are also used in gas chromatographs or scintillation counters or, with higher-activity sources, in irradiators. X-ray generators are used for X-ray fluorescence or X-ray diffraction spectrum analyses. The use of scanners for small animals (cancer research) in research laboratories and medical schools should also be noted. Particle accelerators are used in research into matter or for the manufacture of radionuclides. Trends in the number of events reported to ASN in the research sector 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 Number rated level 0 Number rated level 1 Number rated level 2 Graph 12 250  ASN report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2018 08 – SOURCES OF IONISING RADIATION AND THEIR INDUSTRIAL, VETERINARY AND RESEARCH APPLICATIONS