ASN Report 2022

the licensee’s surveillance of worksites. Improvements are also expected in the robustness of the process for managing the periodic inspections of pressure equipment, which has shown vulnerabilities on several occasions. The site’s radiation protection performance improved in 2022. ASN observes progress in the organisation of radiation protection and notes that the process for identifying and reporting significant radiation protection events is effective. Improvements are however still expected in the preparation, by the workers – including those of outside contractors, of activities involving major radiation protection implications, including outside contractors, and in the control of the radiological cleanliness of the facilities. ASN observes progress in environmental protection, the site having more specifically improved its organisation. ASN underlines the actions undertaken through the action plan to remove the legacy waste hulls and observes the good upkeep of the facilities and competent management of hazardous chemical products. Progress is nevertheless expected in the stormwater network, and particularly in the control of discharges and the monitoring of renovation work. These subjects will receive particular attention in 2023. With regard to labour inspection, ASN considers that the licensee must make improvements in several areas. Deviations have been observed in particular in the verification of the electrical installations or the protection of certain areas with respect to the risk of falling from height. Paluel nuclear power plant The Paluel NPP operated by EDF in the municipality of Paluel in the Seine‑Maritime département, 30 km south-west of Dieppe, comprises four 1,300 MWe PWRs, commissioned between 1984 and 1986. Reactors 1, 2, 3 and 4 constitute BNIs 103, 104, 114 and 115 respectively. The site accommodates one of the regional bases of the Nuclear Rapid Intervention Force (FARN) created by EDF in 2011 further to the Fukushima NPP accident (Japan). Its role is to intervene in pre-accident or accident situations, on any NPP in France, by providing additional human resources and emergency equipment. ASN considers that the performance of the Paluel NPP with regard to nuclear safety and environmental protection is broadly in line with the general assessment of the EDF plants. ASN considers that the radiation protection performance stands out positively with respect to its general assessment of the EDF plants. The nuclear safety performance of the Paluel NPP was satisfactory, despite some weaknesses. In the area of reactor operational management, an action plan deployed to control activities involving a reactor trip risk gave satisfactory results. Nevertheless, there is room for progress in mastering the control of sensitive transients, particularly during the shutdown and restarting phases. Moreover, several significant safety events reported were caused by a deficiency in the preparation of the activity or shortcomings in the operational documentation. ASN considers that action must be taken to improve the quality of the operational documentation and the activity preparation and performance documents. With regard to maintenance, ASN considers that the site’s performance in 2022 still remains below average. Several inspections during the maintenance outages highlighted deviations in the monitoring of activities and of certain worksites. This was the case for example during the refuelling and maintenance outage of reactor 4, when a video inspection revealed a crack on a control rod drive shaft, a crack which had not been identified during the previous outages. In addition, the analysis of several safety-related significant events revealed a lack of preparation and shortcomings in the risk analyses before carrying out the activities. Improvements are therefore required, firstly through more rigorous preparation of the work interventions, and secondly by good uptake of the activities by the operators before carrying them out. With regard to radiation protection, ASN notes that the site’s performance is stable with respect to 2021. The dosimetry of all the maintenance outages during 2022 was below their initial forecast. The inspections confirmed the good upkeep of the work sites and, more generally, satisfactory management of the contamination risk. Improvements are nevertheless expected regarding compliance with the procedures for managing contaminated persons and in the contamination follow-up actions determined by the preparation committee for activities with high radiological risks. ASN notes that in 2022 a worker received a skin dose exceeding one quarter of the regulatory limit; this incident led to the reporting of a significant radiation protection event rated level 1. ASN will be attentive to the deployment of the action plan decided upon further to the analysis of the root causes of this event. Tightened surveillance at Flamanville In September 2019, ASN decided to place the Flamanville NPP under tightened surveillance further to the difficulties EDF encountered during the two ten‑yearly outages which began in 2018. This tightened surveillance was materialised by a larger number of ASN inspections, some thirty per year, and regular interchanges with the licensee on the progress and effectiveness of its practices improvement plan. At the end of 2021, after completing the deployment of its action plan, the licensee asked ASN to lift the tightened surveillance status. In 2022, ASN conducted two tightened inspections which revealed correct application of nuclear safety principles and rules by the personnel of EDF and the outside contractors, the good overall condition of the facilities, and the improvement in the control of radiation protection on the high-risk worksites. In view of the improvement in the state of the facilities and the safety practices, ASN decided to lift the tightened surveillance of the Flamanville NPP in July 2022. ASN has asked the licensee to continue to maintain a high level of stringency to consolidate the observed improvements. 72 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 Regional overview of nuclear safety and radiation protection • NORMANDIE •