Abstracts ASN Report 2021

Assessment of the La Hague site ASN considers that the performance of the Orano Recyclage La Hague site in 2021 is satisfactory in the areas of nuclear safety, radiation protection and environmental protection. With regard to nuclear safety, Orano must endeavour to continue the improvements underway in the formalising of operator authorisations and the deployment of the operational management teams. Particular attention must also be paid to the training and appointing of the operators ensuring the local response group functions, and to the rigour in the traceability of the various operational tracking registers. ASN considers that the licensee has improved its aids for monitoring outside contractors, but must now try to be more rigorous in the filling out of these tracking documents. It would also seem necessary to conduct a cross-site reflection on the precision with which the monitoring stop points are defined during operations carried out by outside contractors and on the rigour of their validation. The licensee must also be attentive to the proper deployment of the teams of certain facilities placed under the responsibility of industrial operators, such as the asbestos laboratory, in order not to induce delays in the decommissioning and legacy waste retrieval operations. ASN also considers that the licensee has satisfactorily carried out the required work to reinforce fire detection and protection. Orano has also adapted the human resources provided during unannounced fire-fighting exercises conducted by ASN. The licensee must nevertheless be vigilant regarding its rigour in the management of fire permits, fire loads and fire-fighting means specific to work sites. ASN considers that Orano must reinforce its forwardlooking initiatives for managing the capacities of certain storage areas, such as those for plutonium–bearing materials, in order to define storage arrangements and solutions offering a high level of safety. Lastly, ASN considers that the licensee must be more rigorous when gathering the results of investigations associated with the corrosion phenomena on the fission product evaporators-concentrators, and take care to maintain a questioning attitude when analysing the results. With regard to radiation protection, the year 2021 was marked by the continued implementation of the new radiation protection organisation. ASN notes that the La Hague site’s organisation and results are satisfactory, particularly regarding compliance with the site’s estimated dosimetric evaluations and control of exposure levels. However, ASN considers that Orano must be more rigorous with the traceability of radioactive sources and the management of outside contractors tasked with performing the regulatory technical verifications. With regard to environmental protection, in June 2021 ASN carried out a tightened inspection of the measures adopted and implemented by the licensee to prevent and control the detrimental effects and environmental impact of the site’s activity. This inspection revealed satisfactory control of the liquid and gaseous effluent discharges, and several recent improvements relating to the control of risks in the chemical product storage areas and the operational procedures for managing accidental pollution on the site. Orano must nevertheless be vigilant with regard to the conformity of equipment and facilities presenting a risk for protection of the environment, particularly the identification of the related requirements and the correct performance of the associated inspections. As far as the management of decommissioning and legacy waste retrieval and packaging projects is concerned, progress was made in 2021, with Orano gradually implementing, as from early 2021, major improvements in project organisation and management, such as the putting in place of a collaborative tool that provides all the elements relating to decommissioning project management in digital format, or the use of readiness matrices for the various project steps. These improvements, which promote greater robustness, must nevertheless still be generalised and consolidated. ASN does however observe that several legacy waste retrieval and packaging projects are facing difficulties leading to new delays (see the waste retrieval and packaging project observatory –chapter 13 of the full ASN Report). ASN considers that Orano must guarantee that governance decisions are taken on the basis of soundly argued and formalised hypotheses. It must also plan ahead to define alternative solutions in the event of uncertainties in project implementation. ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 81 REGIONAL OVERVIEW OF NUCLEAR SAFETY AND RADIATION PROTECTION NORMANDIE