ASN Report 2022

fuel from the nuclear power, research and naval propulsion sectors. As the facility is old, it was partially reinforced in the early 2010’s to improve its earthquake resistance. The guidance file for the next periodic safety review (DOR) of LECA was submitted by the CEA in January 2022. In March 2022, the licensee reported a significant event rated level 1 on the INES scale following the discovery of a fuel storage can that was not in conformity with the criticality risk management rules, in a storage well of cell C5 of the LECA laboratory. An assessment of the cans stored in cell C5 was carried out before resuming the activities, which was authorised by the head of the BNI. Documentary searches for all the dimensional characteristics of the cans in multi-sector wells and inspection operations with opening of wells shall be carried out. Commissioned in 1999, the STAR facility is an extension of the LECA laboratory, designed for the stabilisation and reconditioning of spent fuel. The CEA sent ASN the STAR periodic safety review report in February 2018 and its commitment letter in February 2021, on both of which ASN shall issue position statements. The CEA added the STAR impact study to its file in December 2021, pursuant to ASN resolution 2017-DC-0597 of 11 July 2017. In 2022, ASN asked the licensee for additional information on the assessment of the sum of the impacts of the operation of LECA-STAR with the Cadarache platform and the other facilities existing or approved under Article R. 122-5 of the Environment Code. ASN considers that in 2022 the level of nuclear safety of the LECA-STAR facility is broadly satisfactory, particularly with regard to waste management within the facility and monitoring of outside contractors. The monitoring of atmospheric discharges from BNI 55 must be improved. ASN expects the Cadarache site to comply with the site’s discharges resolution in order to ensure redundancy of the continuous samplings taken at the gas outlets. Solid radioactive waste storage area – CEA centre BNI 56, declared in January 1968 for the disposal of waste, is used for storing legacy solid radioactive waste from the Cadarache centre. It comprises three pools, six pits, five trenches and hangars, which contain in particular ILW-LL waste from the operation or decommissioning of CEA facilities. BNI 56 is one of the priorities identified by the CEA in its new decommissioning and waste management strategy. The CEA continued its WRP operations in the BNI in accordance with the schedule presented at the start of the year. The fitting out and the active tests with radioactive materials have enabled the video inspections of pit 1 to begin, and the clean-up work on the extraction cell of trench T2 has been carried out. ASN considers that in 2022 the management of static and dynamic containment and the conditions of the systems are satisfactory on the whole. ASN has more specifically observed improvements in the tracking and traceability of the modification work. ASN will nevertheless be attentive to compliance with the new deadlines set for retrieval of the stainless steel “intermediate-level waste” packages from pit 6, and to the management of the BNI’s stormwaters. Phébus research reactor – CEA centre The Phébus reactor (BNI 92) is an experimental pool-type reactor with a power rating of 38 MWth which functioned from 1978 to 2007. Phébus was designed for the study of serious accidents affecting light water reactors and for defining operating procedures to prevent core melt-down or to mitigate its consequences. The licensee submitted its decommissioning file to the Minister on 14 February 2018 and its periodic safety review report to ASN in October 2017. This file is being examined concomitantly with the decommissioning application. The public inquiry concerning the decommissioning application for the facility was held in October 2022 after the Environmental Authority had issued its opinion in July 2021. Since December 2021, all the fuel has been removed in accordance with the priority objectives of the decommissioning preparation operations. ASN considers that the standard of nuclear safety of the facility in 2022 is satisfactory, particularly concerning the monitoring of outside contractors. Laboratory for research and experimental fabrication of advanced nuclear fuels – CEA centre Commissioned in 1983, Lefca (BNI 123) was a laboratory tasked with conducting studies on plutonium, uranium, actinides and their compounds with the aim of understanding the behaviour of these materials in the reactor and in the various stages of the “fuel cycle”. In 2018, Lefca finalised the transfer of part of its research and development equipment to the Atalante laboratories (BNI 148) at Marcoule. The CEA submitted the final shutdown declaration for the facility in April 2019. In December 2021, the CEA informed ASN of its decision to keep the Lefca facility in operation and conduct new activities in it. An action plan with a consolidated schedule was sent to ASN in January 2022. The forthcoming periodic safety review must integrate this change of strategy. On this account, the CEA submitted the facility’s guidance file in March 2022, with this continued operation in mind. ASN considers that the standard of nuclear safety of the facility in 2022 is satisfactory on the whole, particularly concerning the monitoring of outside contractors. The licensee must nevertheless improve its fire protection measures. ASN has also noted areas for progress in the installation and signalling of fire-fighting equipment. The deviations observed in 2021 in the conformity and integrity of the facility’s piezometers for monitoring the groundwater tables were either corrected in 2022 or are currently undergoing remedial action. 94 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 •