ASN oversees the continued operation of basic nuclear installation 148, called Atalante, operated by CEA, further to the conclusions of its periodic safety review

Published on 06/05/2022 at 12:05

Information notice

This facility is devoted to research and development for the reprocessing and recycling of spent nuclear fuels and waste management.

The purpose of the periodic safety review is, on the one hand, to verify the conformity of the facility, to ensure that it correctly follows all rules applicable to it and, on the other, to improve its level of safety taking account of changing requirements, practices and knowledge in terms of nuclear safety and radiation protection, as well as national and international operating experience feedback.

Development of refractory materials dissolution processes. C11/C12 shielded line in Atalante on the CEA Marcoule site - © Y.Audic / CEA

Article L. 593-18 of the Environment Code requires that the licensee conduct such a review every ten years, following which ASN communicates the results of its analysis to the Minister responsible for nuclear safety and may issue a resolution setting binding requirements for continued operation of the facility.

The periodic safety review concluding report for BNI 148 was submitted by CEA in December 2016. These conclusions were examined by ASN, with the support of IRSN. During this examination, CEA undertook to implement improvements notably concerning mitigation of the consequences of any accident, such as deployment of a system automatically shutting down the electricity and water supplies in the event of an earthquake.

Following examination of this report, ASN considers that the provisions proposed by CEA to manage risks and detrimental effects are pertinent. It underlines the licensee’s good organisation and its commitment to carrying out the various phases associated with the periodic safety review process, as well as the ambitious action plan adopted by the licensee, the implementation of which has been initiated satisfactorily.

In the light of the potential consequences associated with certain accident scenarios, ASN considers that a strict schedule should apply to some of the provisions, notably those concerning improvements to the post-earthquake fire and flood risk prevention measures, and that the waste stored in the facility should be reprocessed or removed within a reasonable time-frame. Continued operation of BNI 148 is therefore subject to the binding requirements defined in the ASN resolution of 19 April 2022.

The concluding report for the next periodic safety review of BNI 148 shall be submitted before 13 December 2026.

To find out more:

ASN resolution 2022-DC-0720 of 19 April 2022 setting binding requirements on CEA applicable to BNI 148, called Atalante, in the light of the conclusions of its periodic safety review (only available in French):

Date of last update : 09/05/2022