ASN Report 2022

The French National Network of Environmental Radioactivity Monitoring (RNM) brings all these players together. Its primary aim is to collect and make available to the public all the regulation environmental measurements taken on French territory, by means of a dedicated website ( The quality of these measurements is guaranteed by a laboratories approval procedure (see point 4.3). The guidelines of the RNM are decided by a network steering committee made up of representatives from all the stakeholders in the network: ministerial departments, ARS, representatives of nuclear licensee or association laboratories, members of the CLIs, IRSN, ASN, etc. 4.2.2 The purpose of environmental monitoring The licensees are responsible for monitoring the environment around their facilities. The content of the monitoring programmes to be implemented in this respect (measurements to be taken and frequency) is defined in amended ASN resolution 2013‑DC‑0360 of 16 July 2013, and in the individual requirements applicable to each installation (Creation Authorisation Decree, discharge licensing orders or ASN resolutions), independently of the additional measures that can be taken by the licensees for the purposes of their own monitoring. This environmental monitoring: ∙ contributes to understanding the radiological and radioecological state of the facility’s environment through measurements of parameters and substances regulated in the requirements, in the various environmental compartments (air, water, soil) as well as in the biotopes and food-chain (milk, plants, etc.): a datum is determined before the facility is created and monitoring the environment throughout the lifetime of the facility enables any changes in this datum to be followed; ∙ helps verify that the impact of the facility on health and the environment is in conformity with the impact assessment; ∙ detects any abnormal increase in radioactivity as early as possible; ∙ ensures there are no facility malfunctions, notably by analysing the ground water and checking licensees’ compliance with the regulations; ∙ contributes to transparency and information of the public through the transmission of monitoring data to the RNM. 4.2.3 Content of monitoring All the nuclear sites in France that produce discharges are subject to systematic environmental monitoring. This monitoring is proportionate to the environmental risks or detrimental effects of the facility, as presented in the authorisation file, particularly the impact assessment. The regulation monitoring of the environment of BNIs is tailored to each type of facility, depending on whether it is a nuclear power reactor, a plant, a research facility, a waste disposal centre, and so on. The minimum contents of this monitoring are defined by the amended Order of 7 February 2012 setting the general rules for BNIs and by the above-mentioned modified resolution of 16 July 2013. This resolution obliges BNI licensees to have approved laboratories take the environmental radioactivity measurements required by the regulations. Depending on specific local features, monitoring may vary from one site to another. Table 7 gives examples of the monitoring performed by the licensee of an NPP and of a research centre (or plant). When several facilities (whether or not BNIs) are present on the same site, joint monitoring of all these installations is possible, as has been the case, for example, on the Cadarache and Tricastin sites since 2006. These monitoring principles are supplemented in the individual requirements applicable to the facilities by monitoring measures specific to the risks inherent in the industrial processes they use. Each year, in addition to sending ASN the monitoring results required by the regulations, the licensees transmit nearly 120,000 measurements to the RNM. 4.2.4 Environmental monitoring nationwide by IRSN IRSN’s nationwide environmental monitoring is carried out by means of measurement and sampling networks dedicated to: ∙ air monitoring (aerosols, rainwater, ambient gamma activity); ∙ monitoring of surface water (watercourses) and groundwater (aquifers); ∙ monitoring of the human food chain (milk, cereals, fish, etc.); ∙ terrestrial continental monitoring (reference stations located far from all industrial facilities). This monitoring is based on: ∙ continuous on-site monitoring using independent systems (remote-monitoring networks) providing real-time transmission of results. This includes: ‒ the Téléray network (ambient gamma radioactivity in the air) which uses a system of continuous measurement monitors around the whole country. The density of this network is being increased around nuclear sites within a radius of 10 to 30 kilometres around BNIs, ‒ the Hydrotéléray network (monitoring of the main watercourses downstream of all nuclear facilities and before they cross national boundaries); ∙ continuous sampling networks with laboratory measurement, for example the atmospheric aerosols radioactivity monitoring network; WITH REGARD TO MEASUREMENTS ■ The Decision Threshold (SD) is the value above which it is possible with a high degree of confidence to conclude that a radionuclide is present in the sample. ■ The Detection Limit (LD) is the value as of which the measurement technique is able to quantify a radionuclide with a reasonable degree of uncertainty (the uncertainty is about 50% at the LD). More simply, LD ≈ 2 x SD. For the measurement results on chemical substances, the Quantification Limit is equivalent to the Detection Limit used to measure radioactivity Reference spectra For the NPPs, the reference spectra of discharges comprise the following radionuclides: ■ Liquid discharges: tritium, carbon‑14, iodine‑131, other fission and activation products (manganese‑54, cobalt‑58, cobalt‑60, nickel‑63, Ag‑110m, tellurium‑123m, antimony‑124, antimony‑125, caesium‑134, caesium‑137); ■ Gaseous discharges: tritium, carbon‑14, iodines (iodine‑131, iodine‑133), other fission and activation products (cobalt‑58, cobalt‑60, caesium‑134, caesium‑137), noble gases: xenon‑133 (permanent discharges from ventilation networks, when draining “RS” effluent storage tanks and at decompression of reactor buildings), xenon‑135 (permanent discharges from ventilation networks and at decompression of reactor buildings), xenon‑131m (when draining “RS” tanks), krypton‑85 (when draining “RS” tanks), argon‑41 (at decompression of reactor buildings). ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 161 • 03 • Regulation of nuclear activities and exposure to ionising radiation 01 03 07 08 13 AP 04 10 06 12 14 09 05 11 02