ASN Report 2022

FACILITIES UNDERGOING DECOMMISSIONING The decommissioning operations performed on the Saclay site concern two finally shut down BNIs (BNIs 18 and 49) and three BNIs in operation (BNIs 35, 40 and 72), parts of which have ceased activity and in which operations in preparation for decommissioning are being carried out. They also concern two Installations Classified for Protection of the Environment – ICPEs (EL2 and EL3), previously classified as BNIs but which have not been completely decommissioned due to the lack of a disposal route for the low-level long-lived waste (LLW-LL). Their downgrading from BNI to ICPE status in the 1980’s, in compliance with the regulations of that time, could not be done today. Broadly speaking, the CEA’s decommissioning and waste management strategy has been examined by ASN, which stated its position in May 2019 on the priorities defined by the CEA (see chapter 13 of the full ASN Report). Ulysse reactor Ulysse was the first French university reactor. The facility, which constituted BNI 18, was definitively shut down in February 2007. The BNI Decommissioning Decree was published on 21 August 2014 and provided for a decommissioning duration of five years. On 8 August 2019, the CEA announced the end of the decommissioning operations provided for in the decommissioning decree, with the completion of final post-operational clean-out. The CEA sent a delicensing application file to ASN in February 2021. After examining the file, ASN delicensed the Ulysse reactor in June 2022 and BNI 18 has thus been deleted from the list of BNIs (see chapter 13 of the full ASN Report). High-activity laboratory The High-activity laboratory (LHA) comprises several laboratories which were intended for research or production work on various radionuclides. It constitutes BNI 49. On completion of the decommissioning and clean-out work authorised by Decree of 18 September 2008, only two laboratories currently in operation should ultimately remain under the ICPE System. These two laboratories are the laboratory for the chemical and radiological characterisation of effluents and waste, and the packaging and storage facility for the retrieval of unused sources. Despite the progress of the clean-out and decommissioning operations, the accumulated delays have prevented the CEA from meeting the deadline of 21 September 2018 set by the decree authorising LHA decommissioning. The discovery of pollution in certain “intercell yards” in 2017 also led to changes being made in the operations to be carried out. Investigations into the radiological status of the soils were conducted over the 2019-2021 period. The licensee submitted a decommissioning decree modification file in December 2021. The justification for the time necessary to complete the decommissioning operations authorised by the decree of 18 September 2008 shall be reviewed in the ongoing examination of this file. The year 2022 was marked primarily by the operations prior to the resuming of decommissioning. Several contracts were moreover signed in order to restart, as of 2023, the clean-out and decommissioning operations which have been stopped since late 2018. ASN considers that the level of safety of BNI 49 undergoing decommissioning is on the whole satisfactory. The inspections revealed meeting of the commitments made by the facility licensee to ASN, and the good condition of the premises and of the ventilation equipment. The performance of unannounced inspections also evidenced good responsiveness on the part of the licensee. On the other hand, the inspections revealed weaknesses in waste management, with the need to repackage a large volume of noncompliant waste packages. The management of the VLL waste from the packaging and storage facility for the retrieval of sources surplus to requirements must also be improved in order to rapidly reduce the volume of waste stored in the premises. The surveillance of contractors on worksites must be stepped up to ascertain compliance with the provisions of the facility’s baseline requirements. One significant event rated level 1 on the INES scale was reported by the facility during 2022, caused by a safety culture deficiency on the part of workers responsible for replacing the fire detection system. This event followed on from late reporting of faults on the fire detection control system of part of the facility. ASN remains vigilant with regard to the management of the VLL waste zones of BNI 49, particularly on account of the future decommissioning work which will produce additional waste. Consequently, the adequacy of the existing waste storage areas for the future needs turns out to be of major importance for the planned schedule of decommissioning operations. ASN will conduct an inspection to check the conditions of resumption of the decommissioning work on the TOTEM shielded line, expected during 2023, following the discovery in late 2022 that the initial state of the shielded line was not as expected. ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 67 Regional overview of nuclear safety and radiation protection • ÎLE-DE-FRANCE •