ASN Report 2022

Phénix reactor – CEA centre The Phénix NPP (BNI 71) is a demonstration fast breeder reactor cooled with liquid sodium. This reactor, with an electrical power rating of 250 MWe, was definitively shut down in 2009 and is currently being decommissioned. The major decommissioning phases are regulated by Decree 2016-739 of 2 June 2016. ASN resolution 2016‑DC‑0564 of 7 July 2016 sets the CEA various milestones and decommissioning operations. Removal of the spent fuel and equipment continued in 2022 in accordance with the ASN requirements and the licensee’s commitments made during the facility’s periodic safety review, which was completed in 2012, and the transition to the decommissioning phase. Uncertainties as to the future and the processing of the spent fuel from Phénix nevertheless remain (see chapter 11 – “Fuel cycle” of the full ASN Report). ASN considers that the level of nuclear safety and radiation protection of the Phénix NPP is satisfactory on the whole, particularly with regard to waste management, deviation management, organisation for tracking ongoing worksites and meeting commitments. Improvements are however expected in the management of accident-situation instructions, particularly for their periodic review and their integration in the modification process. A significant event concerning the falling of a shock-absorbing device in a cell further to a safety culture deficiency was rated level 1 on the INES scale. Construction of the NOAH facility, which will treat some of the sodium from Phénix and other CEA facilities, progressed in 2022 with the continuation of the pre-commissioning operating tests. The reference decommissioning scenario for the facility, defined in the Decommissioning Decree of June 2016, is currently being redefined by the licensee, in line with the decommissioning strategy for all the CEA facilities. The licensee moreover submitted the conclusions of its periodic safety review on 26 October 2022. Diadem facility – CEA centre The Diadem facility, currently under construction, shall be dedicated to the storage of containers of radioactive waste from decommissioning emitting beta and gamma radiation, or waste rich in alpha emitters, pending construction of facilities for the disposal of long-lived waste (LLW) or LL/ILW-SL whose characteristics – especially the dose rate – mean they cannot be accepted in their present state by the CSA. In 2022, the CEA continued the procedures initiated further to ASN’s findings in 2021 to improve the exercising of its responsibilities as nuclear licensee, its project management and the handling of deviations. ASN considers that the organisation in place for the powered-on qualification tests of the facility’s electrical equipment is on the whole satisfactory. ASN emphasises that this facility is destined to play a key role in the CEA’s overall decommissioning and waste management strategy, and that it is the only facility planned for the interim storage of the waste packages it is to receive. The CEA filed a request to modify the Creation Authorisation Decree in 2021 further to change in the package closure technology. It also filed its commissioning authorisation application file for the facility in 2021. The operations necessary for its effective commissioning, which corresponds to reception of its first radioactive waste package, must be a priority for the CEA. Assessment of the CEA Marcoule centre ASN considers that the level of nuclear safety and radiation protection of the CEA Marcoule centre is on the whole satisfactory. The organisation of outside contractor monitoring must be improved, particularly to clarify the distribution of monitoring actions between the Marcoule centre and the BNIs and improve the sharing of Operating Experience Feedback (OEF) between the CEA centres. The organisation of on-site transport operations and the application of the on-site transport rules are robust. ASN has observed an improvement but will remain attentive to the measures taken for transport package maintenance. ASN has authorised the setting up of the CEA Marcoule radiation protection skills centres under Articles R. 593-112 of the Environment Code and R. 4451-113 of the Labour Code, along with the General Operating Rules (RGEs) of the CEA Marcoule. The organisational provisions regarding radiation protection observed in inspections are satisfactory on the whole; ASN will be attentive to the emergency situation organisation of the radiation protection, particularly where duties necessitating service continuity are involved. In 2020, the CEA submitted its study on the sanitary and environmental evaluation of the liquid and gaseous chemical discharges from the Marcoule platform, for which ASN has requested complementary information. An ASN resolution concerning the requirement for a third-party expert assessment of this study shall be formalised. 86 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 Regional overview of nuclear safety and radiation protection • OCCITANIE •