Abstracts ASN Report 2021

Over and above the cycles in which nuclear power falls into or out of favour and regardless of those who say that there is too much or too little safety, ASN has always sought to adapt its oversight to the challenges of the moment, without ever deviating from its fundamental principles. These fundamental principles are unwavering, because they correspond to convictions about how to exercise oversight and because nuclear power, in which time‑scales are very long, requires a stable framework: stop and go and a lack of visibility are hardly the best guarantors of safety. Adaptability is needed because the installations, licensees and network of subcontractors change, whether in technical, human resources, f inancial or industrial terms. In 2017, ASN therefore def ined a strategic plan to exercise oversight that was as efficient as possible in a context where the nuclear industry was faced with colossal investments, at a time when the licensees were also faced with budgetary or f inancial difficulties. Five years later, as ASN is drafting a new strategic plan, what changes have been made in the f ield of oversight? What are the new challenges? ASN has consolidated the fundamental principles of its oversight Oversight promoting more accountability ASN’s conviction has always been that a good level of nuclear safety and radiation protection can only be achieved if the nuclear licensees fully assume their The last decade has been marked by the follow-up to the Fukushima Daiichi accident and the problems experienced by the french nuclear industry. During this period, the stakeholders asked that safety and inspections be reinforced. Today, the security of electricity supply is the focus of everyone’s attention, raising questions about the cost of safety or the potentially excessive nature of the regulations. Montrouge, 1 March 2022 Responsible oversight, combining consistency with adaptability prime responsibility for it. ASN’s action aims to ensure that they do so effectively. Before issuing a ruling on the restart of nuclear reactors following maintenance outages, ASN used to examine numerous documents in which EDF justif ied maintaining the equipment as-is, despite the anomalies observed. In recent years, ASN made changes to its oversight of reactor outages by replacing this systematic documentary review with targeted on-site inspections, while at the same time, EDF has placed emphasis on rectifying the anomalies as early as possible, rather than justifying their acceptability. This approach illustrates a more responsible attitude on the part of the licensee, as encouraged by ASN’s oversight, with safety being the winner. Oversight that is more proportionate to the stakes The internationally recognised principle of the proportionality of the resources to the issues means that licensees and professionals are focusing their resources, which are by def inition f inite, on subjects with the greatest nuclear safety or radiation protection implications. Application of this principle is a constant concern in that ASN directs the allocation of the licensee’s resources through the requests it makes or the questions it poses. ASN has ramped up its efforts in favour of a “graded approach” to oversight. In the f ield of small-scale nuclear activities, the overhaul of the administrative regimes carried out in recent years has thus reduced the burden in terms of the f iles requested and the examinations carried out for those activities with lower radiation protection implications. Similarly, ASN has EDITORIAL BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL 8 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021