ASN Report 2022

After analysing the periodic safety review report for BNI 72 sub - mitted at the end of 2017 and examined jointly with the decommissioning file, ASN regulated the conditions of con - tinued operation of the facility through ASN Chairman’s res - olution CODEP- CLG-2022-005822of 2 February 2022. Decree 2022-1107 of 2 August 2022 requiring the CEA to proceed with the decommissioning of BNI 72 was published in the Official Journal . It will enter into application on the date ASN approves the General Operating Rules (RGEs) or, at the latest, one year after the publishing of this Decree. ASN considers that the safety of the facility is satisfactory, while at the same time noting numerous delays in the operations to remove the fuel or waste from storage. ASN nevertheless notes favourably the removal of several fuel cans present in the pool of a building, which contributes to the gradual reduction of its dispersible inventory. In 2022, ASN examined the progress of the o perations concerning removal of fuel from the pool and a fuel rod transport package. Delays are observed due to technical contingencies and problems with the supply of fuel rod transport packages. However, the BNI is implementing corrective actions to over - come the difficulties the organisation has encountered and the actions implemented by the CEA to remove the irradiated fuels from block 108 and from the pool. Despite the observed delays, ASN underlines the CEA’s ability to adapt to the various contingences encountered. Nevertheless, the action plans to ensure compliance with the stated schedules must be more rigorous. ASN underlines that projects that contribute to reducing the dispersible inventory within facilities constitute priorities for safety. Alongside this, ASN’s inspections find the facility to be in good overall condition. ASN nevertheless expects improvements in the rescheduling of corrective actions initiated as a result of surveillance measures. Liquid effluents management zone The liquid effluents management zone constitut es BNI 35. Declared by the CEA by letter of 27 May 1964, this facility is dedicated to the treatment of radioactive liquid effluents. The CEA was authorised by a Decree of 8 January 2004 to create “Stella”, an extension in the BNI for the purpose of treating and packaging low-level aqueous effluents from the Saclay centre. These effluents are concentrated by evaporation then immobilised in a cementitious matrix in order to produce packages acceptable by Andra’s aboveground waste disposal centres. The evaporation facility used to treat the radioactive effluents has been out of service since 2019 due to technical anoma - lies on an equipment item. Its return to service requires the preparation of a specific safety assessment file which ASN is waiting to receive. At present the facility is no longer capable of fulfilling its functions (evaporation of effluents,encapsula - tion of concentrates in cement, collection of effluents from the Saclay effluent producers). The process of encapsulation in cement, used to treat the concentrates in the facility, was nevertheless stopped temporarily by the CEA in June 2021. The CEA made this decision further to the production of two active packages that did not comply with the 12H packaging approval obtained from Andra in 2018. ASN authorised entry into service of the process in 2020. Despite the work remaining to be done, the CEA plans resuming encapsulation in cement in the coming months. Alongside this, the CEA has suspended reception of effluents from other BNIs since 2016, due to the conducting of complementary investigations into the stability of the structure of the room for storing low-level liquid effluents (room 97). The majority of the low- and intermediate-level radioactive effluents produced by the Saclay site production sources are now directed to the Marcoule Liquid Effluent Treatment Station (STEL). This situation, which raises questions about the possibility of resuming management of liquid effluents in the BNI in the coming years, receives particular attention from ASN in its discussions with the CEA on its effluent management strategy. ASN expects the CEA to make a significant investment to render the facility operational so that, in priority, the legacy effluents stored there can be retrieved and packaged within appropriate time frames. Several other issues of major importance for the BNI are currently being discussed or examined. These include in particular the emptying of the tanks containing organic effluents in pit 99, an operation authorised for one of the tanks in 2022 and which remains a major clean-out challenge; determining the clean-out strategy for the MA 500 tanks; and finalising the emptying of tank MA 507. The inspections carried out in 2022 revealed a satisfactory organisational set-up and tools to keep track of the commitments made to ASN. When unannounced inspections were carried out, the inspectors found the facility and the premises to be in good overall condition and the teams to be duly responsive. The theme of static and dynamic containment is suitably monitored by the licensee. Lastly, the operations to characterise the “legacy” organic effluents stored in the facility have started and must now continue. On the other hand, improvements are expected in waste management, particularly with regard to the presence of legacy waste that is unidentified or to be repackaged, in the management of interim storage durations, and compliance with the storage area operating requirements. More rigorous tracking of chemical products is also necessary. Lastly, ASN observes that the actions prescribed after the periodic safety review of 2007 have not all been completed to date. 66 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 Regional overview of nuclear safety and radiation protection • ÎLE-DE-FRANCE •