ASN Report 2022

6. Identifying and correcting deviations ASN implements enforcement measures, making it possible to oblige a licensee or party responsible for a nuclear activity to restore compliance with the regulations, along with penalties. In certain situations in which the actions of the licensee or party responsible for a nuclear activity fail to comply with the regulations in force, or when it is important that appropriate action be taken by it to remedy the most serious risks without delay, ASN may resort to enforcement measures and impose the penalties provided for by law. The principles of ASN actions in this respect are: ∙ actions that are impartial, justified and appropriate to the level of risk presented by the situation concerned. Their scale is proportionate to the nuclear safety, health and environmental risks associated with the deviation identified and also take account of factors relating to the licensee (past history, behaviour, repeated nature), the context of the deviation and the nature of the requirements contravened (regulations, standards, “rules of good practice”, etc.); ∙ administrative measures initiated on proposals from the inspectors and decided on by ASN or the administrative enforcement committee, in order to remedy risk situations and non‑compliance with the legislative and regulatory requirements as observed during its inspections. Moreover, criminal infringement reports (violation, misdemeanour) can be issued by the ASN inspectors and transmitted to the competent local Public Prosecutor’s Office, which will assess whether or not to prosecute. 6.1 Enforcement measures and administrative sanctions ASN has a range of tools at its disposal regarding the party responsible for a nuclear activity or a licensee, more particularly: ∙ the inspector’s observations; ∙ the official letter from the ASN departments (inspection follow-up letter); ∙ formal notice from ASN to regularise the administrative situation or to comply with the regulations in force, within a time-frame determined by itself; ∙ enforcement measures or administrative sanctions, applied after non-compliance with the formal notice served. These measures, as set out in law, are as follows: ∙ deposit in the hands of a public accountant of a sum covering the total cost of the work to be performed; ∙ have the work carried out without consulting the licensee or the party responsible for the nuclear activity and at its expense (any sums deposited beforehand can be used to pay for this work); ∙ suspension of the operation of the facility or of the transport operation until conformity is restored, or suspension of the activity until complete performance of the conditions imposed and the adoption of interim measures at the expense of the person served formal notice, in particular in the event of urgent measures to protect human safety; ∙ a daily fine (an amount set per day, to be paid by the licensee or the party responsible until full compliance with the requirements of the formal notice has been achieved); ∙ administrative fine. It should be noted that these last two measures are proportionate to the gravity of the infringements observed. With regard to administrative sanctions, the administrative enforcement committee, when referred to by the ASN Commission, may hand down the administrative fine set out in 4° of II of Article L. 171-8 of the Environment Code, when a formal notice decision, issued beforehand by ASN against a licensee or nuclear activity manager to require compliance of the activity with the regulations in force, has not been met by the latter. The administrative enforcement committee, for which the kickoff meeting was held on 19 October 2021, met once again for its annual information meeting on 9 December 2022. The Act also provides for precautionary measures taken to safeguard public security, health and safety or protect the environment. ASN can therefore: ∙ provisionally suspend operation of a BNI, immediately notifying the Ministers responsible for nuclear safety, in the event of any serious and imminent risk; ∙ prescribe at any time the assessments and implementation of the necessary measures in the event of a threat to the abovementioned interests; ∙ take decisions to temporarily or definitively revoke the administrative title (authorisation and soon registration) issued to the party responsible for the nuclear activity, after having informed the party concerned that it is entitled to submit observations within a given time, in order to comply with the exchange of views procedure. In 2022, ASN sent out formal notice on three occasions: one for BNIs and two for small-scale nuclear activities. Following an inspection during which shortcomings in the storage of gamma radiography equipment were noted, in breach of the obligations of protection against malicious acts, ASN limited the authorization to hold gamma radiography equipment. 6.2 The action taken following criminal violations The texts also make provision for criminal infringements, misdemeanours or breaches. This will for example be non-compliance with the provisions concerning the protection of workers exposed to ionising radiation, non-compliance with formal notice served by ASN, performance of a nuclear activity without the required administrative title, non-compliance with the provisions of ASN resolutions or decisions, or irregular management of radioactive waste. Any infringements observed are written up in reports by the nuclear safety and radiation protection inspectors and transmitted to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, that decides on what subsequent action, if any, is to be taken. The Environment Code makes provision for criminal penalties, a fine or even a term of imprisonment (up to €150,000 and 3 years in prison), depending on the nature of the violation. For legal persons found to be criminally liable, the amount of the fine can reach €10M, depending on the infringement in question and the actual prejudice to the interests mentioned in Article L. 593-1. The Public Health Code also makes provision for criminal penalties, consisting of a fine of from €3,750 to €15,000 and a term of imprisonment of six months to one year. Depending on the gravity of the offence, additional sentences may be applied to legal persons. Class five penalties (fines) are stipulated in the field of nuclear safety for infringements mentioned in Article R. 596-16 of the Environment Code, as well as in the field of radiation protection for infringements mentioned in Articles R. 1337-14-2 to 5 of the Public Health Code, for example with regard to non-compliance with the requirements for notification of a significant event, to the administrative system (transmission of the title application file, compliance with general requirements, information concerning changes to the RPA). 166 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