Abstracts ASN Report 2021

THE INDUSTRIAL, VETERINARY AND RESEARCH SECTOR Among the nuclear activities in the industrial sector, industrial radiography and more particularly gamma radiography, are priority sectors for ASN oversight owing to their radiation protection implications. ASN considers that the risks are addressed to varying extents depending on the companies, even though worker dosimetric monitoring is generally carried out correctly. If the risk of incidents and the doses received by the workers are on the whole well managed by the licensee when this activity is performed in a bunker in accordance with the applicable regulations, ASN is still concerned by the observed shortcomings in terms of the signage of the operations area during site work. In 2021, in order to raise licensee awareness, ASN drew their attention –in a letter sent out to each company performing industrial radiography– to the deviations most commonly identified during inspections and urged them to exercise greater vigilance in signage of the operations area. ASN also recalls the need for regular maintenance and periodic checks on the correct working of the safety devices built into the bunkers, so that the line of defence they represent in preventing inadvertent exposure remains effective. More generally, ASN considers that the ordering parties should give priority to industrial radiography services in bunkers and not on the worksite. In the other priority sectors for ASN oversight in the industrial sector (industrial irradiators, particle accelerators including cyclotrons, suppliers of radioactive sources and devices containing them) the state of radiation protection is considered to be on the whole satisfactory. However, two cyclotron licensees informed ASN that their annual radioactive gas discharge limits had been exceeded, although the resulting impact remains very small. With regard to suppliers, ASN considers that the areas in which practices still need to be improved are advance preparations for the expiry of the sources administrative recovery period (which by default is ten years), information for the purchasers regarding future source recovery procedures, and the checks prior to delivery of a source to a customer. The actions carried out by the licensees in recent years are continuing to improve radiation protection within the research laboratories. The conditions for the storage and elimination of waste and effluent remain the primary difficulties encountered by the research units, including with regard to the performance and traceability of checks prior to elimination or the recovery of “legacy” unused sealed radioactive sources. Finally, the licensees must be more attentive, notably in the event of modifications to research projects or experimental procedures, to compliance with certain requirements in their authorisations, notably those regarding the premises in which sources of ionising radiation are allowed to be kept or used. With regard to the veterinary uses of ionising radiation, ASN can see the result of the efforts made by veterinary bodies over the past few years to comply with the regulations, notably in conventional radiology activities on pets. For practices concerning large animals such as horses, or performed outside veterinary facilities, ASN considers that the implementation of radiological zoning and the radiation protection of persons from outside the veterinary facility who take part in the radiographic procedure, are points requiring particular attention. With regard to the protection of sources of radiation against malicious acts, more particularly when high-level radioactive sources or batches of equivalent sources are used, the inspections conducted by ASN show that the licensees are beginning to implement the measures needed to comply with the requirements set out in the Order of 29 November 2019. Thus, the categorisation of sources, an essential step in identifying the applicable requirements and in implementing an approach proportionate to the risks, has been done by nearly 75% of the facilities concerned. Similarly, the issue of nominative permits for access to sources is progressing, even if it still needs to be implemented in nearly half the industrial facilities and the vast majority of health facilities. ASN therefore considers that significant progress is still needed, in particular because in mid-2022, the requirements regarding the presence of physical systems to prevent unauthorised access to sources will become applicable, offering intrusion resistance compliant with that stipulated by the Order. In 2022, ASN will continue its actions to raise licensee awareness on these subjects. 20 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 ASN ASSESSMENTS PER LICENSEE AND BY ACTIVITY SECTOR