ASN Report 2022

Circular, the Prefects implemented plans to distribute stable iodine tablets in a radiological emergency situation, which can involve exercises being held for the local implementation of the PNRANRM. The Prefect may also take measures to ban the consumption of foodstuffs liable to have been contaminated by radioactive substances as of the emergency phase (until the facility has been restored to a controlled and stable state). The purpose of these measures, taken before the releases cease, is to facilitate management of the post-accident phase. Once the releases are over and the facility has returned to a stable state, further population protection steps are decided on, according to the deposition of radioactive materials in the environment. Depending on the ambient radioactivity level, this could involve: ∙ evacuating the population for a variable length of time; ∙ restrictions on the self-consumption of foodstuffs produced locally; ∙ checks on foodstuffs prior to marketing, in accordance with the maximum allowable levels of radioactive contamination defined at European level for the sale of foodstuffs. 1.3.2 Care and treatment of exposed persons In the event of a radiological emergency situation, a significant number of people could be contaminated by radionuclides. These persons shall be cared for by the emergency response teams duly trained and equipped for this type of operation. The Circular of 18 February 2011 regarding national doctrine for the use of emergency resources and care to deal with an act of terrorism using radioactive substances, specifies the provisions which also apply to a nuclear or radiological accident, and which aim to implement a unified nationwide methodology for the use of resources, in order to optimise efficiency. The Medical intervention following a nuclear or radiological event Guide, the drafting of which was coordinated by ASN and which was published in 2008, accompanies Circular DHOS/HFD/DGSNR No. 2002/277 of 2 May 2002 concerning the organisation of medical care in the event of a nuclear or radiological accident, giving all the information of use for the medical response teams in charge of collecting and transporting the injured, as well as for the hospital staff. Under the auspices of ASN, a new version of this Guide including the organisational changes made since 2008 and the new methods for treating contamination, is currently being drafted. 1.4 Understanding the long-term consequences The post-accident phase concerns the handling over a period of time of the consequences of long-term contamination of the environment by radioactive substances following a nuclear accident. It covers the handling of consequences that are varied (economic, health, environmental and social), by their nature complex and that need to be dealt with in the short, medium or even long term, with a view to returning to a situation considered to be acceptable. The procedure followed by the Codirpa, which was set up by ASN in 2005 at the request of the Prime Minister, led to the development of constituents of a first national doctrine for the post-accident management of a moderate scale nuclear accident leading to short-duration releases (less than 24 hours), published in 2012. Following the work done by the Codirpa to take better account of the lessons learned from the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi NPP, Operating Experience Feedback (OEF) from emergency exercises, changes to the regulations and to the international recommendations, a new version of the recommendations for post-accident management of a nuclear accident was published in 2022. This document today constitutes the basis for post-accident management of a nuclear accident in France. It is intended for the local and national stakeholders concerned. It is intended to both incite these bodies to reflect upon the preparation for such a situation and guide them in the management of a real emergency. The work of Codirpa is continuing in order to supplement these recommendations, notably to take better account of accidents not involving nuclear reactors which could notably involve alpha radioactivity. The work currently being done by the committee is also aiming to define a strategy to reduce the contamination of an area affected by a radiological or nuclear accident related to management of the associated waste, while taking account of the implications for the various types of environments affected (urban, agricultural, forest, etc.). ASN is continuing its approach which is to include the population in the drafting of Codirpa’s recommendations and, in the same way as the meetings held in 2021 and 2022, will be organising discussion sessions in 2023 to present the public with the results of the working groups regarding the consideration of accidents with the release of alpha emitters and the definition of strategies to reduce the contamination of an area affected by a radiological or nuclear accident and the management of the associated waste. 2. ASN’s role in an emergency and post-accident situation 2.1 The four key duties of ASN In an emergency situation, the responsibilities of ASN, with the support of IRSN, are as follows: ∙ check the steps taken by the licensee and ensure that they are pertinent; ∙ advise the authorities on population protection measures; ∙ take part in the dissemination of information to the population and media; ∙ act as Competent Authority within the framework of the international Conventions on Early Notification and Assistance. Checking the steps taken by the licensee In the same way as in a normal situation, ASN acts as the regulatory authority in an accident situation. In this particular context, ASN ensures that the licensee exercises in full its responsibility for keeping the accident under control, mitigating the consequences, and rapidly and regularly informing the public authorities. It draws on IRSN’s expertise and assessments and can at any time ask the licensee to perform appraisals and take the necessary actions, without however taking the place of the licensee in the technical operations. 174 ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 • 04 • Radiological emergency and post-accident situations 04