ASN Report 2022

In 2022, ASN considers that the organisation defined and implemented for operation of the CSM facilities with regard to radiation protection and environmental monitoring is satisfactory. The licensee has notably taken measures to improve the monitoring of outside contractors. It must nevertheless continue to embrace the requirements associated with the creation of the radiation protection skills centres and consolidate the operational control of the actions planned for the management of situations that could take the facility outside its operating range. National Large Heavy Ion Accelerator The National large heavy ion accelerator (Ganil) economic interest group was authorised in 1980 to create an ion accelerator in Caen (BNI 113). This research facility produces, accelerates and distributes ion beams with various energy levels to study the structure of the atom. The high-energy beams produce strong fields of ionising radiation, activating the materials in contact, which then emit radiation even after the beams have stopped. Irradiation thus constitutes the main risk of the Ganil. “Exotic nuclei” are nuclei which do not exist naturally on Earth. They are created artificially in Ganil for nuclear physics experiments on the origins and structure of matter. In order to produce these exotic nuclei, Ganil was authorised in 2012 to build phase 1 of the SPIRAL2 project, whose commissioning was authorised by ASN in 2019. A new project is currently underway on the site with the “DESIR” facility, standing for Disintegration, Excitation and Storage of Radioactive Ions. The primary function of the DESIR project will be to create new experimentation areas based on beams of radioactive ions produced by the SPIRAL1 and S3 facilities (experimental area of the SPIRAL2 phase 1 facility). This project involves modifying the BNI perimeter. For the purpose of the technical examination conducted jointly with IRSN, ASN underlines the speed with which Ganil provided the complementary information requested. In the light of the file and the complementary information provided, ASN informed the Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Mission (MSNR) in November 2022 that the file submitted by the Ganil was sufficiently robust for the examination to continue, and in particular for the consultations provided for by the regulations to be launched. As far as the existing facilities are concerned, ASN considers that the licensee’s organisation for nuclear safety in 2022 was satisfactory. This being said, improvements are expected in the time frames and the exhaustiveness in the transcription of the new regulatory requirements into the documents, in order to avoid delays such as were observed with the formalising and implementation of the new radiation protection regulations. LA HAGUE SITE The Orano site at La Hague is located on the north-west tip of the Cotentin peninsula, in the Manche département, 20 km west of Cherbourg and 6 km from Cap de La Hague. The site is situated about fifteen kilometres from the Channel Islands. THE ORANO RECYCLAGE REPROCESSING PLANTS IN OPERATION AT LA HAGUE The La Hague plants for reprocessing fuel assemblies irradiated in the nuclear reactors are operated by Orano Recyclage La Hague. Commissioning of the various units of the fuel reprocessing and waste packaging plants UP3-A (BNI 116) and UP2‑800 (BNI 117) and the Effluent Treatment Station STE3 (BNI 118) spanned from 1986 (reception and storage of spent fuel assemblies) until 2002 (R4 plutonium treatment unit), with the majority of the process units being commissioned in 1989‑1990. The Decrees of 10 January 2003 set the individual reprocessing capacity of each of the two plants at 1,000 tonnes per year, in terms of the quantities of uranium and plutonium contained in the fuel assemblies before burn-up (in the reactor), and limit the total capacity of the two plants to 1,700 tonnes per year. The limits and conditions for discharges and water intake by the site are defined by ASN resolutions 2022-DC-724 and 2022-DC-0725 of 16 June 2022. Operations carried out in the plants The reprocessing plants comprise several industrial units, each intended for a particular operation. Consequently there are facilities for the reception and storage of spent fuel assemblies, for their shearing and dissolution, for the chemical separation of fission products, uranium and plutonium, for the purification of uranium and plutonium, for treating the effluents and for packaging the waste. When the spent fuel assemblies arrive at the plants in their transport casks, they are unloaded either “under water” in the spent fuel pool, or “dry” in a leaktight shielded cell. The fuel assemblies are then stored in pools to cool them down. They are then sheared and dissolved in nitric acid to separate the pieces of metal cladding from the spent nuclear fuel. The pieces of cladding, which are insoluble in nitric acid, are removed from the dissolver, rinsed in acid and then water, and transferred to a compacting and packaging unit. ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 75 Regional overview of nuclear safety and radiation protection • NORMANDIE •