ASN Report 2022

The decommissioning work during 2022 consisted in characterising, repackaging and removing waste, and starting the preparatory work for renovation of the polar crane of the reactor building. ASN considers that the level of nuclear safety and radiation protection of this facility in 2022 is broadly satisfactory, particularly with regard to fire protection, emergency management and the monitoring of outside contractors, an area in which the licensee has progressed by taking into account the lessons learned from the significant event reported in 2021 concerning an outside contractor employee. Solid Waste Treatment Station – CEA centre BNI 37 of CEA Cadarache historically comprised the active Effluents Treatment Station (STE) and the Waste Treatment Station (STD), grouped into a single installation. As the CEA wishes to ensure continued operation of the STD and proceed with the final shutdown of the STE, BNI 37 was divided into two BNIs: 37-A (STD) and 37-B (STE) by ASN resolutions CODEP-DRC-2015-027232 and CODEPDRC-2015-027225 of 9 July 2015. These records were made further to the Orders of 9 June 2015 defining the perimeters of these two BNIs. At present, the STD is the CEA’s only civil BNI licensed for the packaging of intermediate-level long-lived (ILW-LL) radioactive waste before it is stored in the Cedra facility (BNI 164) pending transfer to a deep geological repository. This situation makes the STD an indispensable part of the CEA’s decommissioning and waste management strategy. The continued operation of the STD is conditional on the performance of renovation work – particularly civil engineering works – prescribed by ASN Chairman’s resolution CODEPCLG-2016-015866 of 18 April 2016. ASN authorised these works on 20 January 2022. The CEA was unable to meet the prescribed work completion deadline in 2021, which has been pushed back to 30 June 2028. The preparatory work for this renovation started in late 2022. The licensee submitted its periodic safety review report in March 2022, and an inspection was carried out on this subject in July 2022. Tracking and execution of the action plan stemming from the periodic safety review is satisfactory on the whole. ASN considers the level of safety of the STD to be broadly satisfactory, particularly with regard to contractor monitoring and modification management, which has improved. Fire protection, however, must be monitored rigorously, and improvements are expected in the defining of the specified requirements for the Protection Important Components (PIC) necessary for the constitution of the waste packages. In addition, radiation protection management is unsatisfactory. In effect, measures such as displaying temporary modifications in radiation protection zoning, in temporary waste zoning or the application of instructions established inside these zones are either not carried out or they lack stringency. Active Effluents Treatment Station – CEA centre The STE (BNI 37-B) has been shut down since 1 January 2014. The CEA submitted the decommissioning file for this facility in December 2021. During decommissioning preparation, the licensee character - ised the soils and equipment to determine the initial radiolog - ical status of the facility. This characterisation work revealed the presence of artificial radionuclides outside the identified contaminated areas and in the stormwater network. These contaminationshave again formed the subject of significant event reports to ASN in 2021 and 2022, despite the implemen - tation of an action plan to improve stormwater management, whose effectiveness is monitored by the CEA. In view of the first results and the new significant event reports, this action plan will be continued and will be supplemented in 2023. ASN conducted an in-depth inspection concerning the facility decommissioning project in 2022. It observed a posi - tive dynamic in the management of the decommissioning. However, the schedule must be put to the test to determine possibilities of reducing the time frames proposed in the decommissioning file. ASN considers that the standard of nuclear safety of BNI 37-B remains broadly satisfactory in 2022 but the licensee must improve the management of the zones with legacy radiolog - ical contamination. ASN has observed improvements in the monitoring of outside contractors. Plutonium Technology Facility and Chemical Purification Laboratory – CEA centre The ATPu (BNI 32) produced plutonium-based fuel elements intended for fast neutron or experimental reactors as from 1967, then, from 1987 until 1997, for PWRs using MOX fuel. The activities of the LPC (BNI 54) were associated with those of the ATPu: physical-chemical verifications and metallurgical examinations, treatment of effluents and contaminated waste. The two facilities were shut down in 2003 and are currently undergoing decommissioning. The operations associated with monitoring, upkeep and oper - ation, management and monitoring of solid waste and liquid effluents (characterisation, grouping, removal) continued and enabled the dispersible inventory of the two facilities to be reduced. With regard to the ATPu, in accordance with the last schedule proposed by the CEA in November 2020, all the campaigns for processing the drums containing alpha emitting radionuclides from BNI 56 are now finished. With regard to the LPC, several glove boxes have been decom - missioned. The HV/LV substation has been moved, in con - nection with the modification of the utilities needed during the BNI decommissioning phases. The cryogenic treatment process removal work also continued. The inspections conducted in 2022 focused mainly on the static and dynamic containment, on the management of waste in the ATPu and on performance of the periodic safety 92 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2022 Regional overview of nuclear safety and radiation protection • PROVENCE-ALPES-CÔTE D’AZUR •