Abstracts ASN Report 2021

In 2021, ASNcarried out 143 inspections in theNouvelle-Aquitaine region, comprising 60 in the Blayais and Civaux NPPs, 66 in small-scale nuclear facilities, 7 in the area of radioactive substance transport and 10 concerning approved organisations and laboratories. ASN also carried out 13 days of labour inspection at the Blayais NPP and 15.5 days at the Civaux NPP. During 2021, 9 significant events rated level 1 on the INES scale were reported by the NPP licensees of NouvelleAquitaine. In small-scale nuclear activities, 5 significant radiation protection events rated level 1 on the INES scale were reported to ASN. Blayais nuclear power plant The Blayais NPP situated in the Gironde département, 50 km north of Bordeaux, is operated by EDF. This NPP comprises four 900 MWe PWRs. Reactors 1 and 2 constitute BNI 86, and reactors 3 and 4 BNI 110. ASN considers that the performance of the Blayais NPP with regard to nuclear safety, radiation protection and environmental protection is in line with ASN’s general assessment of the EDF plants. However, despite this assessment, ASN considers that improvement measures are necessary to overcome the current deterioration in nuclear safety performance. The nuclear safety performance of the Blayais NPP was variable during 2021. In the operational management of the reactors, the deployment of an action plan in the first half of the year to improve the quality of operation and supervision of control room activities resulted in satisfactory performance. A drop in performance during the summer and at the end of the 2021 however resulted in the reporting of numerous signif icant events. ASN considers it is necessary to take measures regarding the organisation and distribution of responsibilities in the control room. ASN also observes persistent deficiencies in the quality of the operational documentation covering the preparation and performance of the activities. On the other hand, in the area of maintenance, ASN notes a good command of the activities carried out during the reactor outages and appropriate handling of anomalies encountered. A tightened inspection in the area of occupational radiation protection in 2021 showed that improvements were required. ASN considers that performance levels have improved compared with 2020 and underlines the deployment of an ambitious action plan in this area. Nevertheless, ASN’s inspections still f ind numerous deviations in the way this risk is taken into account on the facilities, indicating a lack of radiation protection culture on the part of certain workers. It is therefore necessary to continue monitoring, training and providing information on this subject. Lastly, ASN notes that a number of detected events should have been reported and analysed in greater depth to prevent their recurrence. With regard to environmental protection, ASN considers that the situation has significantly improved in various areas noted in the last few years, such as the treatment of legacy pollution of the soils and the conf ined aquifers of the site, or the reinforcement of the sealing of the liquid discharge pipes in the Gironde Estuary. ASN nevertheless notes that investigations are still necessary to characterise the exact origin of the liquid tritium pollutions, and that depollution actions must be continued in 2022. It observes moreover that work remains to be carried out to guarantee the containment of accidental liquid spillages on the site under all circumstances. ASN underlines with approval the licensee’s transparency on these subjects and its drive in 2021 to remove waste that has been waiting to be removed for many years. Concerning labour inspection, ASN considers that there is a deterioration in worker safety results. ASN has observed risk situations for personnel working at height, and the occurrence of events affecting safety linked to hand-held power tools. ASN has nevertheless noted positively the setting up of work site protection reviews. On 1 October last, the Bordeaux division and the Regional Directorates of the economy, employment, labour and solidarity of Nouvelle-Aquitaine and Occitanie held a half-day meeting with employers, ordering customers and employees of companies performing work that could cause the emission of asbestos fibres, in order to raise awareness on the prevention of this risk. The Bordeaux division regulates nuclear safety, radiation protection and the transport of radioactive substances in the 12 départements of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Nouvelle‑Aquitaine Region 82 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 REGIONAL OVERVIEWOF NUCLEAR SAFETY AND RADIATION PROTECTION