ASN Report 2022

4.1.2 Evaluating the radiological impact of nuclear activities The radiological impact of effluents produced by medical activities The radiological impact of the effluents or waste produced by the nuclear medicine departments underwent recent assessments, which concluded that these discharges represent a low dose impact for persons outside the health facility. The radiological impact of BNIs In accordance with the optimisation principle, the licensee must reduce the radiological impact of its facility to values that are as low as possible under economically acceptable conditions. The licensee is required to assess the dosimetric impact of its activity. As applicable, this obligation is the result of Article L. 1333-8 of the Public Health Code, or the regulations concerning BNI discharges (Article 5.3.2 of ASN resolution 2013‑DC‑0360 of 16 July 2013, amended, concerning control of detrimental effects and the impact of BNIs on health and the environment). The result is to be assessed considering the allowable annual dose limit for the public (1 millisievert per year – mSv/year) defined in Article R.1333-11 of the Public Health Code, which corresponds to the sum of effective doses received by the public as a result of nuclear activities. In practice, only traces of artificial radioactivity are detectable in the vicinity of the nuclear facilities; most measurements taken during routine surveillance are below the decision threshold or reflect the natural radioactivity. As these measurements cannot be used for dose estimations, models for the transfer of radioactivity to humans must be used, on the basis of measurements of discharges from the installation. These models are specific to each licensee and are detailed in the facility’s impact assessment. During its assessment, ASN devotes efforts to verifying that these models are conservative, in order to ensure that the impact assessments are not underestimated. In addition to the impact assessments produced on the basis of discharges from the facilities, the licensees are required to carry out environmental radioactivity monitoring programmes (aquatic environments, air, earth, milk, grass, agricultural produce, etc.), more specifically to verify compliance with the hypotheses used in the impact assessment and to monitor changes in the radioactivity level in the various compartments of the environment around the facilities (see point 4.1.1). The doses from BNIs for a given year are estimated on the basis of the actual discharges from each installation accounted for the year in question. This assessment takes account of discharges from the identified outlets (stack, river or sea discharge pipe), the diffuse emissions not channelled to the outlets (for example tank vent) and the sources of radiological exposure to ionising radiation present in the installation. The estimate is made in relation to one or more identified reference groups. These are uniform groups of people (adults, children, infants) receiving the highest average dose out of the entire population exposed to a given installation, following realistic scenarios (taking into account the distance to the site, meteorological data, etc.). All of these parameters, specific to each site, explain most of the differences observed between sites and from one year to another. The Table entitled “Radiological impact of BNIs since 2016” in chapter 1 presents an assessment of the doses due to BNIs calculated by the licensees for the most exposed reference groups. For each of the nuclear sites presented, the radiological impact remains far below, or at most represents about 1% of the limit for the public, this limit being 1 mSv/year. Therefore in France, the discharges produced by the nuclear industry have an extremely small radiological impact. 4.1.3 Monitoring within the European framework Article 35 of the EURATOM Treaty requires that the Member States establish the facilities needed to carry out continuous monitoring of the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil and to ensure compliance with the basic standards of health protection for the general public and workers against the hazards of ionising radiation. All Member States, whether or not they have nuclear facilities, are therefore required to implement environmental monitoring arrangements throughout their territory. Article 35 also states that the European Commission may access the monitoring facilities to verify their operation and their effectiveness. During its verifications, it gives an opinion on the means implemented by the Member States to monitor radioactive discharges into the environment and the levels of radioactivity in the environment around nuclear sites and over the national territory. It notably gives its assessment of the monitoring equipment and methodologies used and of the organisational setup. Since 1994, the European Commission has carried out the following verification inspections: ∙ the La Hague reprocessing plant and the Manche disposal facility of the French national radioactive waste management agency, in 1996; ∙ the Chooz NPP in 1999; ∙ the Belleville-sur-Loire NPP in 1994 and 2003; ∙ the La Hague reprocessing plant in 2005; ∙ the Pierrelatte nuclear site in 2008; ∙ the old uranium mines in the Limousin département in 2010; ∙ the CEA Cadarache site in 2011; ∙ the environmental radioactivity monitoring facilities in the Paris area in 2016; ∙ the La Hague reprocessing plant in 2018. From 14 to 16 December 2021, ASN took part in the verification inspection by the European Commission on the environmental radioactivity monitoring system around the facilities operated by Orano at Malvési in the Aude département. The report on this visit was published in November 2022 on the website of the European Commission and confirms that the discharges and environment monitoring programme around the Malvési site is appropriate. 4.2 Environmental monitoring 4.2.1 The French National Network for Environmental Radioactivity Monitoring In France, many parties are involved in environmental radioactivity monitoring: ∙ the nuclear facility licensees, who perform monitoring around their sites; ∙ ASN, IRSN (whose duties as defined by Decree 2016-283 of 10 March 2016 include participation in radiological monitoring of the environment), the Ministries (General Directorate for Health, General Directorate for Food, General Directorate for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud control, etc.), the services of the State and other public players carrying out monitoring duties across the national territory or in particular sectors (foodstuffs controlled by the Ministry for Agriculture, for example); ∙ the approved air quality monitoring associations (local authorities), environmental protection associations and Local Information Committees (CLIs). 160 ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 • 03 • Regulation of nuclear activities and exposure to ionising radiation 03