Abstracts ASN Report 2021

TRANSPORT OF RADIOACTIVE SUBSTANCES ASN considers that in 2021, the safety of transport of radioactive substances is on the whole satisfactory. Although a few transport operations –mainly by road– did suffer incidents, these must be put into perspective with the 770,000 transport operations carried out each year. The number of signif icant events involving the transport of radioactive substances on the public highway (84 events reported to ASN in 2021) is slightly up on 2020, even if the number of events rated level 1 on the INES scale remained stable and the number of events concerning the transport of radiopharmaceutical products fell signif icantly. The events mainly comprise: ∙ material non-conformities affecting a package (notably damaged packaging) or its stowage on the conveyance, thereby weakening the strength of the package (whether or not an accident occurs). These cases do not concern transports of spent fuels or highly radioactive waste and primarily concern transports for small-scale nuclear activities; ∙ exceeding of the limits set by the regulations, usually by a small amount, for the dose rates or unfixed contamination of a package; ∙ errors or omissions in package labelling, mainly for transports concerning small-scale nuclear activities. The inspections carried out by ASN also f requently identify such deviations. The consignors and carriers must therefore demonstrate greater rigorousness in day-to-day operations. With regard to “fuel cycle” transports and, more generally, the BNIs, ASN finds that the licensees carry out numerous checks and are therefore better able to detect any deviations. It considers that the consignors must further improve how they demonstrate that the contents actually loaded into the packaging comply with the specifications of the package model approval certificates and the corresponding safety files. This more specifically concerns transports relating to research facilities or the removal of legacy radioactive waste. More particularly with respect to transports concerning smallscale nuclear activities, the ASN inspections confirm significant disparities from one carrier to another. The deviations most frequently identified concern the quality management system, actual compliance with the procedures put into place and the content and actual implementation of the worker radiation protection programme. At a time when the uses of radionuclides in the medical sector are generating a high volume of transport traff ic, progress is still needed in familiarity with the regulations applicable to these transport operations and the arrangements made by certain hospitals or nuclear medicine centres for the shipment and reception of packages. ASN considers that the radiation protection of carriers of radiopharmaceutical products, who are signif icantly more exposed than the average worker, needs to be improved. Finally, for transport operations involving packages that do not require ASN approval, progress is observed with respect to the previous years, along with better application of the recommendations given in ASN Guide No. 7 (volume 3). The improvements still to be made generally concern the description of the authorised contents by type of packaging, the demonstration that there is no loss or dispersion of the radioactive content under normal transport conditions, and that is impossible to exceed the applicable dose rate limits with the maximum authorised content. ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 21 ASN ASSESSMENTS PER LICENSEE AND BY ACTIVITY SECTOR