Its core duty
ASN contributes to drafting of regulations, by giving the Government its opinion on draft decrees and ministerial orders, or by issuing technical regulatory decisions. ASN also makes the individual decisions stipulated in the Public Health Code.
ASN checks compliance with the rules and specifications applicable to the installations and activities within its field of competence. Inspection is one of the primary means of verification available to ASN, which also has appropriate powers of enforcement and punishment.
In particular through its website www.asn.fr and its Contrôle magazine, ASN informs the public and other stakeholders (local information committees, environmental protection associations, etc), about its activities and the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France.
In the event of an emergency, ASN assists the Government.
It in particular sends the competent authorities its recommendations regarding the civil protection measures to be taken.
Regulation of a diversity of activities and installations
ASN regulation covers a wide variety of activities and installations, including nuclear power plants, radioactive waste management, nuclear fuel transport, radioactive material packages, medical installations, research laboratories, industrial activities, and in particular:
- 56 nuclear reactors producing most of the electricity consumed in France, as well as the EPR reactor currently under construction;
- all French installations involved in the fuel cycle, from enrichment to reprocessing;
- several thousand installations and activities using sources of ionising radiation for medical, industrial or research purposes;
- several hundred thousand consignments of radioactive materials shipped nationwide, every year.
A few key figures
- Almost 520 staff, with close to half of them in the 11 regional divisions.
- 317 inspectors distributed among the central directions, the regional divisions and the departments (2021)
- 85% management level.
- A total budget of 67,15 million euros, and 83 million euros budget
devoted to IRSN appraisal work in 2021.
- More than 1 881 inspections on nuclear installations, radioactive material transport and in the medical, industrial and research sectors in 2021.
- 26 733 inspection follow-up letters published in 2021 on the website www.asn.fr
In making certain decisions, ASN calls on the expertise of technical support organisations.
The Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) is its main support organisation.
ASN also asks for opinions and recommendations from the scientific and technical advisory committees of experts.
ASN's aim is to provide efficient, impartial, legitimate and credible nuclear regulation, recognised by the citizens and regarded internationally as a benchmark for good practice.