ASN Report 2022

Thus, at the national level, ASN is an active participant in interministerial work on nuclear emergency management. The Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident showed that it was necessary to improve preparation for the occurrence of a multifaceted accident (natural disaster, accident affecting several facilities simultaneously). The response organisations thus put into place must be robust and capable of managing a large-scale emergency over a long period of time. Better advance planning must be carried out for work done under ionising radiation and, in order to provide effective support for the country affected, international relations must be improved. 1.2.1 Local response organisation In an emergency situation, several parties have the authority to take decisions: ∙ The licensee of the affected nuclear facilities deploys the response organisation and the resources defined in its PUI (see point 1.1.1) . ∙ ASN has a duty to monitor the licensee’s actions in terms of nuclear safety and radiation protection. In an emergency situation, it calls on assessments by IRSN and can at any time ask the licensee to perform any assessments and take any actions it deems necessary. ∙ The Prefect of the département in which the installation is located takes the necessary decisions to protect the population, the environment and the property threatened by the accident. Within the framework of the PPI, this comprises the Orsec plans or the Off-site Protection Plan (PPE) in the event of a malicious act. The Prefect is thus responsible for coordinating the resources – both public and private, human and material – deployed in the PPI. He/she keeps the population and the Mayors informed of events. ASN assists the Prefect with managing the situation. ∙ The Prefect of the defence and security zone is responsible for coordinating reinforcements and the support needed by the Prefect of the département, for ensuring that the steps taken between départements are consistent, and for coordinating regional and national communications. ∙ Owing to his or her role in the local community, the Mayor has an important part to play in anticipating and supporting the measures to protect the population. To this end, the Mayor of a municipality included within the scope of application of a PPI must draw up and implement a local safeguard plan to provide for, organise and structure the measures to accompany the Prefect’s decisions. The Mayor also plays a role in relaying the information and heightening population awareness, more particularly during iodine tablet distribution campaigns. 1.2.2 National response organisation In a radiological emergency situation, each Ministry – together with the decentralised State services – is responsible for preparing and executing national level measures within their field of competence. In the event of a major crisis requiring the coordination of numerous players, a governmental crisis organisation is set up, under the supervision of the Prime Minister, with activation of the Interministerial Crisis Committee (CIC). The purpose of this Committee is to centralise and analyse information in order to prepare the strategic decisions and coordinate their implementation at interministerial level. It comprises: ∙ all the Ministries concerned; ∙ the competent safety Authority and its technical support organisation, IRSN; ∙ representatives of the licensee; ∙ administrations or public institutions providing assistance, such as Météo-France (national weather service). 1.3 Protecting the population The steps to protect the populations during the emergency phase, as well as the initial actions as part of the post-accident phase, aim to protect the population from exposure to ionising radiation and to any chemical and toxic substances that may be present in the releases. These measures are mentioned in the PPIs. 1.3.1 General protection measures In the event of a major nuclear or radiological accident, a number of measures can be envisaged by the Prefect in order to protect the population: ∙ Sheltering and awaiting instructions: the individuals concerned, alerted by a siren, take shelter at home or in a building, with all openings closed, and wait for instructions from the Prefect broadcast by the media. ∙ Ingesting stable iodine tablets (only in the event of an accident involving radioactive iodine releases): when ordered by the Prefect, the individuals liable to be exposed to releases of radioactive iodine are urged to take the prescribed dose of iodine tablets. ∙ Evacuation: in the event of a risk of large-scale radioactive releases, the Prefect may order evacuation. The populations concerned are asked to prepare a bag of essential personal effects, secure and leave their homes and go to the nearest assembly point. Taking stable iodine tablets is a means of saturating the thyroid gland and protecting it from the carcinogenic effects of radioactive iodines. The Circular of 27 May 2009 defines the principles governing the respective responsibilities of a BNI licensee and of the State with regard to the distribution of iodine tablets. This Circular requires that, as the party responsible for the safety of its facilities, the licensee finances the public information campaigns within the perimeter of the PPI and carries out permanent preventive distribution of the stable iodine tablets, free of charge, through the network of pharmacies. An information and iodine tablet distribution campaign began in 2019 in a radius of 10 to 20 kilometres around the nuclear power plants further to the extension of the PPIs. It is complementary to the 2016‑2017 campaign which concerned residents within a radius of 0‑10 km. Led by the Ministry of the Interior, this campaign involves the Ministries of Solidarities, and Health, and National Education, ASN, IRSN, pharmacists, general practitioners, Mayors, CLIs and EDF. The tablet collection campaign continued until January 2021 and was then ended, with tablets being sent by post in early 2021 to the homes of those people who had not collected them from a pharmacy, in the same way as for the previous campaigns in the 0‑10 km zone. Outside the zone covered by a PPI, tablets are stockpiled to cover the rest of the country. In this respect, the ministries responsible for health and for the interior decided to constitute the stocks of iodine tablets which are put in place and managed by Santé Publique France (Public Health France). Each Prefect defines the procedures for distribution to the population in their département, relying in particular on the Mayors for this. This arrangement is described in a Circular of 11 July 2011 concerning the storage and distribution of potassium iodide tablets outside the zones covered by a PPI. Pursuant to this ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 173 • 04 • Radiological emergency and post-accident situations 01 04 07 08 13 AP 10 06 12 14 03 09 05 11 02