ASN Report 2022

1. The principles of nuclear safety and radiation protection 1.1 Fundamental principles Nuclear activities must be carried out in compliance with the fundamental principles contained in the legislative texts or international standards. This primarily concerns: ∙ at the national level, the principles enshrined in the Environment Charter – which has constitutional value – and in the various codes (Environment Code, Labour Code, Public Health Code); ∙ at the European level, rules defined by Directives establishing a community framework for the safety of nuclear facilities and for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste; ∙ at the international level, ten fundamental safety principles defined by the IAEA (see box page 122 and chapter 6, point 3.1) implemented by the Convention on Nuclear Safety (see chapter 6, point 4.1), which establishes the international framework for the oversight of nuclear safety and radiation protection. These various measures of differing origins extensively overlap. They can be grouped into the eight main principles presented below. 1.1.1 The principle of licensee responsibility This principle, defined in Article 9 of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, is the first of IAEA’s fundamental safety principles. It stipulates that responsibility for the safety of nuclear activities entailing risks lies with those who undertake or perform them. It applies directly to all nuclear activities. 1.1.2 The “Polluter-pays” principle The “Polluter-pays” principle, contained in Article 110‑1 of the Environment Code, stipulates that the costs resulting from the measures to prevent, mitigate and fight against pollution must be borne by the polluter. 1.1.3 The precautionary principle The precautionary principle, defined in Article 5 of the Environment Charter, states that “the absence of certainty, in the light of current scientific and technical knowledge, must not delay the adoption of effective and proportionate measures to prevent a risk of serious and irreversible damage to the environment”. Application of this principle results, for example, in the adoption of a linear, no-threshold dose-effect relationship where the biological effects of exposure to low doses of ionising radiation are concerned. This point is clarified in chapter 1 of this report. Nuclear security is defined in the Environment Code as comprising “nuclear safety, radiation protection, prevention and combating of malicious acts and civil protection actions in the event of an accident”. Nuclear safety is “the set of technical provisions and organisational measures – related to the design, construction, operation, shutdown and decommissioning of Basic Nuclear Installations (BNIs), as well as the transport of radioactive subtances – which are adopted with a view to preventing accidents or limiting their effects”. Radiation protection is for its part defined as “protection against ionising radiation, that is the set of rules, procedures and means of prevention and surveillance aimed at preventing or mitigating the direct or indirect harmful effects of ionising radiation on individuals, including in situations of environmental contamination”. Nuclear safety and radiation protection obey principles and approaches that have been put in place progressively and continually enhanced by a process of Operating Experience Feedback (OEF). The basic guiding principles are advocated internationally by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). In France, they are included in the Constitution or enacted in law, as well as now figuring in European Directives. In France, the regulation and oversight of the nuclear safety and radiation protection of civil nuclear activities is the responsibility of the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), an independent administrative Authority, together with Parliament and the other State players, within the Government and the Prefectures. This regulation, which covers related areas such as chronic pollution of all types emitted by certain nuclear activities, is based on expert technical analysis and assessment, more particularly that provided by the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN). At the State level, the prevention of and fight against malicious acts which could affect nuclear materials, their installations and their transportation are the responsibility of the Ministry for Ecological Transition, which can draw on the services of the High Official for Defence and Security (HFDS). Although clearly separate, the two fields of nuclear safety and the prevention of malicious acts are inextricably linked and the authorities responsible cooperate closely. 120 ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 • 02 • The principles of nuclear safety and radiation protection and the regulation and oversight stakeholders