Abstracts ASN Report 2021

Alongside this, ASN’s inspections find the facility to be in good overall condition. ASN nevertheless notes insufficient tracking of the periodic regulatory verifications of electrical equipment. Liquid effluents management zone The liquid effluents management zone constitutes BNI 35. Declared by the CEA by letter of 27 May 1964, this facility is dedicated to the treatment of radioactive liquid effluents. CEA was authorised by a Decree of 8 January 2004 to create “Stella”, an extension in the BNI for the purpose of treating and packaging low-level aqueous effluents from the Saclay centre. These effluents are concentrated by evaporation then immobilised in a cementitious matrix in order to produce packages acceptable by Andra’s above-ground waste disposal centres. The evaporation facility used to treat the radioactive effluents has been out of service since 2019, due to technical anomalies on an equipment item. Its return to service requires the preparation of a specific safety assessment file which ASN is waiting to receive. At present the facility is no longer capable of fulfilling its functions (evaporation of effluents, encapsulation of concentrates in cement, collection of effluents from the Saclay effluent producers). The production of packages by cement encapsulation is subject to a robust and operational inspection plan. This process, which is used to treat the concentrates in the facility, was nevertheless stopped temporarily by the CEA in June 2021. The CEA’s decision was made further to the production of two active packages that did not comply with the 12H packaging approval obtained from Andra in 2018. ASN authorised entry into service of the process in 2020. In view of the work to be carried out by the CEA to remedy this situation, the cement encapsulation activity is not expected to start again in the short term. Alongside this, the CEA has suspended reception of effluents f rom other BNIs since 2016, due to the conducting of complementary investigations into the stability of the structure of the room for storing low-level liquid effluents (room 97). The majority of the low- and intermediate-level (LL and IL) radioactive effluents produced by the Saclay site production sources are now directed to the Marcoule Liquid Effluent Treatment Station (STEL). This situation, which raises questions about the possibility of resuming management of liquid effluents in the BNI in the coming years, receives particular attention from ASN in its discussions with the CEA on its effluent management strategy. ASN expects the CEA to make a signif icant investment to render the facility operational so that, in priority, the legacy effluents stored there can be retrieved and packaged within appropriate time frames. Several other issues of major importance for the BNI are currently being discussed or examined. These include in particular the emptying of the tanks containing organic effluents in pit 99 - which remains a major clean-out challenge, determining the clean-out strategy for the MA 500 tanks, and finalising the emptying of tank MA 507. The facility has a good f ire-response organisation which undergoes regular exercises. Alongside this, the tracking of commitments made to ASN is satisfactory. On the other hand, improvements are required in f ire risk management, with regard to the upkeep of several f ire protection devices, the limiting of the fire loads present in certain premises and proper performance of the control inspections after hot spot work. FACILITIES UNDERGOING DECOMMISSIONING The decommissioning operations performed on the Saclay site concern two finally shut down BNIs (BNIs 18 and 49) and three BNIs in operation (BNIs 35, 40 and 72), parts of which have ceased activity and in which operations in preparation for decommissioning are being carried out. They also concern two Installations Classified for Protection of the Environment –ICPEs– (EL2 and EL3), previously classified as BNIs but which have not been completely decommissioned due to the lack of a disposal route for the low-level long-lived waste (LLW-LL). Their downgrading from BNI to ICPE status in the 1980’s, in compliance with the regulations of that time, could not be done today. Broadly speaking, the CEA’s decommissioning and waste management strategy has been examined by ASN, which stated its position in May 2019 on the priorities def ined by the CEA (see chapter 13 of the full ASN Report). Ulysse reactor Ulysse was the f irst French university reactor. The facility, which constitutes BNI 18, has been in f inal shutdown status since February 2007 and has contained no fuel since 2008. The BNI Decommissioning Decree was published on 21 August 2014 and provides for a decommissioning duration of five years. This facility presents limited safety risks. On 8 August 2019, the CEA announced the end of the decommissioning operations provided for in the Decommissioning Decree, with the completion of final post-operational cleanout. The facility therefore no longer has any areas regulated on account of radiation protection, or areas where nuclear waste can be produced. After declaring the delicensing of the facility’s waste zoning in September 2020, the CEA sent ASN a delicensing application f ile in February 2021, with a view to deleting the Ulysse reactor f rom the list of BNIs. After analysing this f ile, ASN made complementary information requests in April 2020, more specif ically concerning the analysis of the soils and groundwater. As the CEA took these requests into account in its f ile update in July 2021, ASN was able to initiate the consultations of the Essonne département Prefecture and the Saclay Local Information Committee in September 2021. The examination of this delicensing application file should lead to an ASN position statement in 2022. As the clean-out targets have been reached and the facility has no residual pollution (chemical or radioactive), ASN at this stage is considering delicensing of the facility without active institutional controls. 68 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 REGIONAL OVERVIEWOF NUCLEAR SAFETY AND RADIATION PROTECTION