Abstracts ASN Report 2021

Finally, ASN is paying close attention to how EDF learns the lessons gained f rom the EPRs commissioned in Finland and China. In particular and in addition to the in-depth technical dialogue initiated with EDF, anomalies on fuel, in particular those affecting the Taishan reactor core, are the subject of experience feedback exchanges between ASN and its Chinese counterpart. Management of waste and materials which must, more than ever, be exemplary Following the public debate in 2019, a draft PNGMDR covering the period 2021-2025 has been produced. Further to its opinions on each of the waste management routes, ASN issued an opinion on this draft. It considers that on the whole it meets the main goal: to allow the necessary decisions to be taken before its end, so that safe management routes are operational within the coming 15 to 20 years, for all types of radioactive waste. Within the framework of the oversight committee which it jointly chairs, ASN will pay particular attention to compliance with the strategic milestones. ASN underlines the simultaneous occurrence of shortterm safety issues, related to the malfunctions observed in certain “cycle” facilities, and longer-term issues. At this stage, the multi-year energy plan has not determined that reprocessing policy will continue beyond 2040. Whatever the option chosen, either cessation or continued reprocessing of spent fuels, the design and examination of the resulting facilities requires extensive forward planning. At ASN’s request, CEA and Orano have drawn up strategies to conduct several major decommissioning projects on old facilities. These are part of a prioritisation effort to address the safety issues. ASN therefore underlined the need to prioritise retrieval of waste and decommissioning of the facilities representing the greatest risk for people and the environment, and to comply with the defined scheduled. The retrieval and conditioning of legacy waste are preliminary but complex steps, because they require that appropriate techniques be developed. They more specifically entail a risk of delay. When the feasibility of final conditioning cannot be demonstrated within the planned time-frame, ASN requests that an alternative solution be developed, with safe retrieval of the waste, regardless of its conditioning. With the possibility of a new nuclear future, the entire sector must be mobilised in order to implement concrete solutions to manage the situations inherited from the past, as rapidly as possible. In the medical field, the level of radiation protection is maintained despite the Covid-19 pandemic In 2021, medical exposure still represents the f irst cause of exposure to artif icial ionising radiation, with the particularity of providing benef its for the patient, provided that prescription of the procedure is justified. Justification is thus a fundamental principle of radiation protection, hence the importance of implementing and overseeing it. When, for example, a new technique or procedure emerges, good collaboration is needed between the various medical and institutional actors. When a long-duration, unexpected crisis appears and exerts pressure on the health care structures, as was the case during the Covid-19 pandemic, mastering the fundamentals of radiation protection culture becomes the best guarantee of the high level of radiation protection expected in the medical f ield. With this in mind, ASN’s decisions and inspections aim to implement a quality management system increasing the accountability of each individual, from decision-maker to actor, that is proportionate to the radiation protection issues for all the diagnostic, interventional and therapeutic f ields. Eventually, this system should incorporate the methods for performing external peer reviews and, for radiotherapy, if a new technology or new type of practice is used, the recording and analysis of data concerning the expected benefits to the patient and the corresponding risks. ASN stresses the importance of learning lessons from undesirable events (Significant Radiation protection Events –ESR), which enhance the study of potential risks and contributes to continuous improvement of the safety of practices by looking for the root causes of the ESRs, regardless of origin (material, human, organisational, etc.). … 6 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 EDITORIAL BY THE COMMISSION