Abstracts ASN Report 2021

High Activity Laboratory The High Activity Laboratory (LHA) comprises several laboratories which were intended for research or production work on various radionuclides. It constitutes BNI 49. On completion of the decommissioning and clean-out work authorised by Decree of 18 September 2008, only three cells, including two laboratories currently in operation, should ultimately remain under the ICPE System. These two laboratories are the laboratory for the chemical and radiological characterisation of effluents and waste, and the packaging and storage facility for the retrieval of unused sources. Despite the progress of the clean-out and decommissioning operations, the accumulated delays have prevented the CEA frommeeting the deadline of 21 September 2018 set by the Decree authorising LHA decommissioning. The discovery of pollution in certain “intercell yards” in 2017 also led to changes being made in the operations to be carried out. Investigations into the radiological status of the soils were conducted over the 2019-2021 period. The licensee submitted a Decommissioning Decree modification file in December 2021. The justification for the time necessary to complete the decommissioning operations authorised by the Decree of 18 September 2008 shall be reviewed during the examination of this file. The year 2021 was marked chiefly by the continuation of the soil investigations and studies, which enabled the CEA to finalise the decommissioning modification application file submitted at the end of 2021. The clean-out and decommissioning operations, suspended since the end of 2018, are expected to start again in 2022. ASN considers that the level of safety of BNI 49 undergoing decommissioning is on the whole satisfactory. The commitments made by the facility are followed up satisfactorily. The conclusions of the fire risk analysis resulted in the rapid implementation of an action plan. The inventory of ionising radiation sources currently in use is kept duly up to date. On the other hand, the inspections revealed deficiencies in the management of disused sources within the packaging and storage facility for the recovery of sources with no identified use, leading to two significant events linked to the presence of unauthorised sources or sources with activities exceeding the authorised limits. The management of sources used Assessment of the CEA Saclay site ASN considers that the CEA Saclay site BNIs are operated under suitably safe conditions on the whole, and observes that the operations to reduce the radiological inventory stored in the BNIs continued in 2021. In this respect, the last irradiated fuels were removed from BNI 40 in October 2021. The decommissioning and waste recovery and packaging operations continued to fall behind schedule in 2021. ASN considers that the progress of the decommissioning projects is one of the major safety challenges for the shutdown installations and that the management of the waste from the decommissioning operations is crucial for the smooth running of the decommissioning programmes. The majority of the CEA Saclay centre BNIs are concerned, either directly or indirectly, by decommissioning or decommissioning preparation operations. ASN therefore expects the CEA to continue its efforts to make its implementation schedules for these operations more robust. ASN will maintain particular vigilance in monitoring the progress of the decommissioning and waste retrieval and packaging projects, with the aim of ensuring control of the schedules. Particular attention must be paid to management of very-low level (VLL) waste and liquid radioactive effluents. In effect, following the temporary suspension of acceptance of VLL waste by one of the centre’s facilities at the start of 2021, management of VLL waste within the BNIs had to be modified for a transient period. In addition to this, the liquid radioactive effluents produced on the Saclay site have been directed to the Marcoule STEL for several years now, given the difficulties encountered by the liquid effluent management zone (BNI 35). The projected schedule for retrieval of the effluents in BNI 35 is not clearly defined at present. During 2021, an abnormally high tritium content was discovered in the Fontainebleau Sands aquifer, at a new piezometer installed on the site. Identifying the precise origin of this pollution and how it will evolve over the medium and long term necessitates complementary investigations, which ASN will specifically monitor. On another note, further to the Fukushima Daiichi NPP accident, ASN had ordered the creation on the Saclay site of new emergency management facilities capable of withstanding extreme conditions. After receiving a compliance notice from ASN in September 2019, the CEA submitted in December 2019 its file presenting and justifying the dimensioning of the future emergency management buildings. After discovering faults in the civil engineering reinforcements, the work site was suspended in mid-2021, preventing the CEA from meeting its commitment to have the premises commissioned before the end of 2021. With regard to the emergency organisation and means, the CEA submitted an update of its On-site Emergency Plan (PUI) in late 2021. ASN conducted an unannounced inspection which found that the emergency management organisation implemented by the CEA Saclay site is satisfactory. Management of the pressure equipment and the NPE has improved. The management of on-site and off-site transport of radioactive substances is satisfactory. ASN has nevertheless observed that the monitoring of the main and backed-up electrical power supplies needs to be improved, as does the monitoring of outside contractors working on several BNIs on the site. ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 69 REGIONAL OVERVIEW OF NUCLEAR SAFETY AND RADIATION PROTECTION ÎLE-DE-FRANCE