ASN oversees occupational health and safety inspection at French nuclear power plants. Update on ASN's inspection of the Flamanville 3 site

Published on 19/04/2011 at 10:41

Information notice

ASN oversees occupational health and safety inspection at French nuclear power plants [1]. It provides coordinated oversight of the health, safety, working conditions and quality of employment of EDF employees, as well as those of EDF service providers and subcontractors, just as it does for nuclear safety at facilities. This activity covers the construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear power plants [2].

ASN employs 13 inspectors assigned to occupational health and safety activities. Their main tasks include:

  • carrying out checks using all available means to ensure proper compliance with labour regulations, as well as supporting EDF in its efforts to grasp and assimilate regulatory requirements;
  • investigating industrial accidents and ensuring that the operator takes the necessary steps to guarantee safe working conditions;
  • in some cases, granting exemptions from regulations regarding working hours and rest;
  • identifying and following industrial disputes, wherever possible, as part of their arbitration duties;
  • providing employees, their representatives and employers with information and advice and taking part in health and safety committee (CHSCT) meetings.

ASN's occupational health and safety inspection activities concern, for the most part, 20,000 EDF employees and an equivalent work force employed by permanent service providers or working on a one-off basis.

As far as the Flamanville plant construction site is concerned, ASN ensures, in particular, that site contractors comply with accident reporting regulations. Some reporting problems have been observed. Accidents must be characterized precisely and ASN continues to carry out inspections in this area.

ASN's public information activities are governed by the principle of transparency set out in the French Nuclear Security and Transparency Act. Within the specific context of occupational health and safety, ASN must reconcile this need for transparency with confidentiality requirements. This is particularly true in the case of ongoing investigations or legal proceedings, complaints lodged by employees or denunciations of illegal situations.


[1] Under Article 57 of the French Nuclear Security and Transparency Act and Article R 8111-11 of the Labour Code.

[2] See Chapter 4, Sections 1.2.3 and 3.2.2 and Chapter 12, Sections 3.8, 5.4 and 7.3 of the ASN report on nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2010 (this can be consulted on the Annual Report 2010 website).

Date of last update : 03/09/2021