Abstracts ASN Report 2021

ASN has deployed new means of oversight Experience feedback from the Creusot affair Following the discovery – starting in 2016 – of irregularities in the manufacturing f i les (sometimes dating back some time) for certain nuclear reactor parts at Framatome’s Le Creusot plant, ASN implemented a system for the prevention, detection and handling of f raud and falsif ication, in line with its undertaking to Parliament: creation of an on-line form to facilitate whistle-blowing; creation of a unit for systematic analysis of these reports, leading to investigations whenever necessary; performance of inspections targeted on f raud, with a specif ic investigation methodology enabling information to be cross-checked. Oversight of the security of radioactive sources An Ordinance of 2016 entrusted ASN with oversight of protection against malicious acts concerning the radioactive sources used outside the installations monitored by other authorities. An Order, published in 2019, def ines the provisions to be followed by those in possession of sources and acts as a f ramework for inspections. On this basis, ASN was thus able to incorporate source security into the inspections it carries out in the small-scale nuclear activities. This oversight complies with the rules applicable to protection of the confidentiality of sensitive information. Oversight of complex projects ASN wished to overhaul its oversight of decommissioning and legacy waste retrieval projects, which suffer from repeated delays on the part of the licensees, partly owing to their complexity and the need to constantly adapt the operations to the new situations discovered. Rather than reinforce the level of technical detail of the inspections, and drawing inspiration from the practices of its british counterpart, ASN developed an inspection methodology for these projects designed to identify any potential drifts early on and to urge the licensees to take corrective measures in good time. Inspections were thus conducted at Orano and EDF accordingly. They will soon be extended to projects managed by CEA and the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra). ASN has changed how it works in-house Skills reinforcement ASN observes that, year after year, it is faced with increasingly complex subjects. This can be the analysis of physical phenomena not anticipated in the design, or the use by the licensees of increasingly sophisticated calculations to prove the safety of their facilities. At a different level, this can also concern ASN’s ability to monitor the supply chain. These issues require specif ic skills which take a long time to acquire, along with growth in the cumulative experience of ASN’s personnel in the hazards and nuclear f ields. In recent years, ASN thus developed its career paths, to ensure that it has personnel who have worked for a greater number of years in the oversight of nuclear safety and radiation protection. In addition to simply the question of numbers, it also devotes efforts to recruiting staff with more experience than previously for the “senior” positions. These approaches must be continued. A well-advanced digital transformation As early as 2017, ASN launched an ambitious digital transformation programme. It won a number of calls for project proposals from the State’s Digital Division, which enabled it to benefit from support in developing data processing: for example, a data mining tool used for more than 26,000 follow-up letters now enables the inspection findings on a given topic to be collated, with identif ication of the early warning signs which were hitherto hard to detect. The digital transformation also aims to simplify the procedures for the licensees: ASN has thus developed an online services portal to make it easier to submit notification or registration files for small-scale nuclear activities. The Covid-19 pandemic crisis accelerated this process and led to the development of new practices, such as remote inspections, which do not aim to replace on-site inspection, but simply complement it. … 10 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 EDITORIAL BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL