ASN Report 2022

Orano uranium fluorination plants Pursuant to the ASN requirement, the oldest fluorination facilities were shut down definitively in December 2017. The shut down facilities have since been emptied of the majority of their hazardous substances and are now in the decommissioning preparation phase. The decommissioningof BNI 105 is authorised by Decree 2019-1368 of 16 December 2019. The main issues associated with decommissioning concern the risks of dissemination of radioactive substances, of exposure to ionising radiation and of criticality, on accountof the residual uranium-bearing sub-stances present in some items of equipment. Despite relative stability of operation in 2021, the Philippe Coste plant, whose facilities are classified Seveso high threshold and replace those of BNI 105 (formerly Comurhex), encountered various technical problems in 2022. ASN con-siders nevertheless that the safety of operation of this plant is satisfactory. For the shutdown facilities, although the decommissioning operations have effectively started, ASN expects greater mobi -lisation on the part of the licensee to ensure the repackaging of the packages containing hazardous radioactive substances stored on storage areas 61 and 79 within the allocated time frames. Georges Besse I enrichment plant The Georges Besse I (Eurodif) uranium enrichment facility constituting BNI 93 consisted essentially of a plant for separating uranium isotopes using the gaseous diffusion process. After stopping production at this plant in May 2012, the licensee carried out, from 2013 to 2016, the Eurodif “Prisme” process of “intensive rinsing followed by venting”, which consisted in performing repeated rinsing of the gaseous diffusioncircuits with chlorine trifluoride (ClF3), a toxic and dangerous sub-stance. These operations, which are now completed, allowed the extraction of virtually all the residual uranium deposited in the diffusion barriers. The licensee submittedits application for final shutdown and decommissioningof the facility in March 2015. The Decree ordering Orano to proceed with the decommissioning of the Georges Besse 1 plant was published on 5 February 2020. The decommissioning issues particularly concern the large volume of very low-level waste (VLLW) produced, including 160,000 tonnes of metal waste which is undergoing spe-cific studies. In 2022, ASN inspected various decommission- ing preparation operations such as the movement of heavy equipment,groupingof the waste storage areas and cutting tests on obsolete materials with a view to qualifying the tool options planned for cutting up the diffusers. The main residual risk of BNI 93 is now associated with the UF6 containers in the storage yards, which are still attached to the perimeterof the facility. These yards should in the short term be attached to the Tricastin uranium storage areas (BNI 178). Georges Besse II enrichment plant The Georges Besse II plant, BNI 168, is the site’s new enrichment facility following the shutdown of Eurodif. It uses the centrifuge process to separate uranium isotopes. The standard of safety of the plant’s facilities in 2022 was sat - isfactory. The technologies used in the facility enable high standards of safety, radiation protection and environmental protection to be achieved. ASN considers that the licensee is duly following its commitments to ASN. Due to the deterioration of the handling gantry rolling tracks at Georges Besse II North, the gantries have been unavailable since October 2020. The buffer yard of the North plant has been completely emptied in order to secure this zone. In 2022, ASN continued monitoring the steps taken by the licensee to reduce cooling fluid discharges into the atmosphere and considers that the licensee has kept up its efforts to control this type of discharge. Lastly, in 2022 Orano began the project to extend the Georges Besse II North enrichment plant with a view to increasing its production capacities by adding centrifuge modules. This pro - ject will be opened for public consultation as of 2023. Maintenance, effluent treatment and waste packaging facilities The effluent treatment and uranium recovery facility (IARU), which constitutes BNI 138, ensures the treatment of liquid effluents and waste, as well as maintenance operations for various BNIs. ASN considers that the efforts made by the licensee in 2022 to improve the level of operationalsafety and the rigourof oper - ation must be continued. In 2022, ASN checked the numerous commitments made to it in 2021 on the subject of fire and waste treatment, and underlines the good progress made in meeting them. This being said, continued vigilance is required regarding the fire-fighting equipment. ASN conducted an inspection dedicated to the surface treatment activities which confirmed that the licensee had duly met the commitments made following an inspection in 2021. Decree 2019-113 of 19 February 2019 authorised the substantial modification of the BNI to create in particular a site waste pro - cessing facility called “Trident”, which continued its start-up in 2022. The technical examination of the update of the discharge resolutions for BNI 138 was carried out in 2021, with a public consultation from 15 November to 6 December 2021. These resolutions entered into effect in July 2022. ASN will be attentive in 2023 to the continuationof the meas - ures taken by the licensee to reinforce operating rigour. ASN will also examine the integration of the conclusions of the periodic safety review, including prevention of the fire risk and upgrading of certain storage sites which will necessitate the construction of a new building baptised “57L”. ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 43 Regional overview of nuclear safety and radiation protection • AUVERGNE‑RHÔNE‑ALPES •