Abstracts ASN Report 2021

Poséidon irradiator Authorised in 1972, the Poséidon facility (BNI 77) is an irradiator comprising a storage pool for cobalt-60 sources, partially surmounted by an irradiation bunker. The BNI moreover includes another bunkered irradiator baptised Pagure, and the Vulcain accelerator. This facility is used for studies and qualification services for the equipment installed in the nuclear reactors, notably thanks to an immersible chamber, as well as for the radiosterilisation of medical products. The main risk in the facility is of personnel exposure to ionising radiation due to the presence of very high-activity sealed sources. ASN has regulated the continued operation of the facility following its periodic safety review through ASN Chairman’s resolution CODEP-CLG-2019-048416 of 22 November 2019. The major areas for improvement are in particular the resistance of the building to seismic and climatic (snow and wind in particular) hazards, and the monitoring of ageing of the Poséidon storage pool. ASN considers that the facility is operated satisfactorily and with the aim of continuously improving its safety. ASN has effectively observed that the licensee provides adequate responses within the set deadlines to its commitments resulting f rom the preceding periodic safety review (commitments made by licensee, technical requirements or requests from ASN). The periodic inspections and tests are suitably monitored, and any corrective measures required further to these inspections are duly implemented. ASN nevertheless considers that improvements must be made in the management of radioactive sources, particular in the tracking of expiry dates. Lastly, the license must conduct work to determine the cause of a recent increase in tritium activity observed in the Poséidon pool water. SOLID WASTE AND LIQUID EFFLUENT TREATMENT FACILITIES The CEA operates diverse types of facilities: laboratories associated with “fuel cycle” research as well research reactors. The CEA also carries out numerous decommissioning operations. Consequently, it produces diverse types of waste. The CEA has specif ic processing, packaging and storage facilities for the management of this waste. Solid radioactive waste management zone The solid radioactive waste management zone (BNI 72) was authorized by the Decree of 14 June 1971. Operated by the CEA, this facility processes, packages and stores the high, intermediate and low-level waste from the Saclay centre facilities. It also stores legacy materials and waste (spent fuels, sealed sources, scintillating liquids, ion-exchange resins, technological waste, etc.) pending disposal. 1. Part of the inventory of the radionuclides of a nuclear facility that groups the radionuclides that could be dispersed in the facility in the event of an incident or accident, or even, for a fraction of them, be released into the environment. In view of the “dispersable inventory(1)” currently present in the facility, BNI 72 is one of the priorities of the CEA’s decommissioning strategy, which has been examined by ASN, who stated its position on these priorities in May 2019 (see chapter 13 of the full ASN Report). The commitments made further to the preceding safety review in 2009 aimed to guarantee an acceptable level of safety of the facility for the next ten years. They concerned in particular the removal of the majority of the “dispersible inventory” from the facility and stopping the reception of new waste from the Saclay centre in order to concentrate the facility’s resources on the retrieval and packaging of the legacy waste and on the decommissioning. These commitments have not been met. In 2017, in view of the delays in the removal from storage operations, the CEA requested that the deadlines prescribed in ASN resolution 2010-DC-0194 of 22 July 2010 for removal of the irradiated fuel from storage and removal of the waste stored in the “40 wells” area be pushed back by several years. In 2020, the CEA asked that the deadline for the removal of the waste stored in the “40 wells” area be further pushed back to 31 December 2030, a request which was validated by ASN Chairman’s resolution CODEP-CMG-2022-05822 of 2 February 2022. In order to be able to continue using the BNI for managing the radioactive waste from the Saclay BNIs, the CEA in 2017 asked for a change in the date of final shutdown of the facility, postponing it until the f irst of the following two terms was reached: either the effective date of the Decommissioning Decree or the date of 31 December 2022. It is also requesting certain arrangements for the management of certain types of waste until 2025. After analysing the periodic safety review report for BNI 72 submitted at the end of 2017 and examined jointly with the decommissioning f ile, ASN regulated the conditions of continued operation of the facility through ASN Chairman’s resolution CODEP‑ CLG-2022‑05822 of 2 February 2022. ASN considers that the safety of the facility is acceptable, while at the same time noting numerous delays in the operations to remove the fuel and waste from storage. ASN nevertheless takes positive note of the removal of three strontium sources from the facility in 2021, which contributes to the gradual reduction of its “dispersible inventory”. In 2021, ASN inspected the organisation and measures implemented by the CEA to remove the irradiated fuels from block 108 and from the pool. Despite the observed delays, ASN underlines the CEA’s ability to adapt to the various contingences encountered. Nevertheless, the action plans to ensure compliance with the stated schedules must be more rigorous. ASN underlines that projects that contribute to reducing the “dispersible inventory” within facilities constitute priorities for safety. ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 67 REGIONAL OVERVIEW OF NUCLEAR SAFETY AND RADIATION PROTECTION ÎLE-DE-FRANCE