ASN Report 2022

Assessment of the La Hague site ASN considers that the performance of the Orano Recyclage La Hague site in 2022 is satisfactory in the areas of nuclear safety, radiation protection and environmental protection. With regard to nuclear safety however, ASN considers that Orano must be more attentive to compliance with the deadlines for regulatory requirements and commitments. From the operational aspect, Orano has continued the improvements initiated in the formalising of operator authorisations and deployment of the operational management teams. ASN also views positively the weighted and cautious approach of the operational management teams observed during the inspection of the STE3 facility. Particular attention must however be paid to the formalising of operating instructions for managing downtimes of the various operational control systems, and correct application of the provisional controller modification authorisations and the equipment lockout/tagout procedures. Greater rigour is also expected in the filling out and traceability of certain checks and registers, as this information is necessary to track parameters that are important for the safety of the facilities. Further to the in-depth inspection conducted in early February 2022 on the themes of periodic inspections and tests and maintenance, ASN considers that Orano must significantly reinforce the requirements associated with the PIA relative to the periodic inspections and the management of deviations. ASN underlines the generally good organisation of outside contractor monitoring. The monitoring reports are available but in some cases do not give the references providing proof of the monitoring actions, therefore greater rigour is required in filling them out. As regards management of worksites, ASN observes their good general upkeep, with the exception of the worksite for the extension of the plutonium oxide discards storage areas in the BST1 facility, conducted with very tight deadlines, in which ASN noted significant deviations, such as worksite tracking folders not up to date, absence of proof of monitoring and non-validated documents. ASN notes that these shortcomings make it impossible to ensure satisfactory traceability of the verifications and ultimately to guarantee compliance with the safety requirements defined by the licensee. Orano must therefore take care to maintain the quality of outside contractor monitoring, irrespective of the various constraints on the worksites. ASN considers that the work programmes to reinforce fire detection and protection are on the whole proceeding satisfactorily. With regard to the situational exercises, improvements are required in the adoption of the actions to be taken by the local response groups and greater rigour is necessary in the management of hot work permits, fire loads and the fire-fighting means specific to worksites. With regard to the storage of plutonium-bearing materials, Orano commissioned a first storage area extension within a room of the BST1 facility in May 2022. This project was examined and deployed under very tight timelines. Orano filed another application in May 2022 for a storage extension within the R4 facility which also requires examination and deployment in very short time frames. ASN thus again considers that Orano must reinforce its forward-looking initiatives for managing the capacities of certain storage areas, such as those for plutonium–bearing materials or spent fuels, in order to define and deploy storage arrangements and solutions with more reasonable time frames. With regard to radiation protection, the year 2022 was marked by the creation of the radiation protection skills centre. The organisation in place broadly meets the regulatory requirements and the licensee has made commitments regarding the last points to address. The year 2022 was however also marked by an increase in significant radiation protection events concerning noncompliance with the conditions of access to delimited areas. ASN considers that the licensee must continue and intensify its action plan to prevent this type of event from happening again. Alongside this, ASN notes that the management of radioactive sources within the site can be improved. Numerous expired sources are still in service or have not been removed. It is important that the licensee steps up its ongoing action plan in this respect so as to be able to remove the expired sources as quickly as possible. These various aspects were examined in depth during the ASN’s tightened inspection on radiation protection carried out in October 2022. Concerning environmental protection in 2022, ASN takes positive note of the licensee’s actions in response to the findings of a tightened inspection conducted the preceding year. The improvement actions undertaken to ensure the regulatory compliance of the facilities presenting risks and drawbacks for environmental protection must be continued, and stepped up as regards the control of fluorinated greenhouse gases. Concerning the treatment of effluents, ASN also observes the operational control teams’ proficiency in the process and the ability of the licensee to mobilise the appropriate resources for the contingencies. This being said, measures are awaited to improve the availability of certain items of equipment and control of the defined requirements applicable the environmental discharges. In this context, ASN also points out the need to continue the actions to reduce environmental discharges, an objective that was taken into account in ASN’s revision of the resolutions regulating the site’s discharges completed in 2022. With regard to the management of the decommissioning and WRP projects, significant progress was made in 2022, particularly in the MAU, MAPu and HADE facilities. Orano has also continued to implement the fundamental improvements in the organisation of the decommissioning and WRP projects, which began in 2021, aiming to achieve greater robustness. ASN nevertheless still observes that several decommissioning and WRP projects continue to encounter problems leading to further delays. As far as decommissioning is concerned, Orano must continue the efforts made to address the issues with major implications for the scenario and hence for the associated 80 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 •