Abstracts ASN Report 2021

The Decree governing the Rapsodie decommissioning operations was signed on 9 April 2021. This Decree sets a new perimeter for the facility and regulates, until 2030, the next phase of reactor life, consisting in the treatment of the sodium f rom the reactor and introducing air into the tank containing it. The subsequent decommissioning operations, such as decommissioning of the reactor block or of the civil engineering structures, shall be covered by a new decommissioning file. ASN has attached two resolutions to this Decree. Resolution 2021-DC-0712 of 3 August 2021 requires the CEA to obtain ASN’s consent to start the operations to neutralise the sodium in the tank. Resolution CODEP-CLG-2021-037079 of 3 August 2021 details the content of the application file to be submitted for these operations and sets requirements for limiting the safety impact of a fire. Furthermore, on this occasion, ASN ruled on the conclusions of the facility’s periodic safety review. It considered that, subject to compliance with these two resolutions, it had no objection to the continued decommissioning of the facility. ASN considers that the level of nuclear safety and radiation protection of this facility in 2021 is on the whole satisfactory. The licensee must nevertheless remain attentive to the monitoring of outside contractors. Solid waste treatment station – CEA centre BNI 37 of CEA Cadarache historically comprised the active Effluents Treatment Station (STE) and the Waste Treatment Station (STD), grouped into a single installation. As the CEA wishes to ensure continued operation of the STD and proceed with the final shutdown of the STE, BNI 37 was divided into two BNIs: 37-A (STD) and 37-B (STE) by ASN resolutions CODEP-DRC-2015-027232 and CODEP-DRC-2015-027225 of 9 July 2015. These records were made further to the Orders of 9 June 2015 defining the perimeters of these two BNIs. At present, the STD is the CEA’s only civil BNI licensed for the packaging of intermediate-level, long-lived (ILW-LL) radioactive waste before it is stored in the Cedra facility (BNI 164) pending transfer to a deep geological repository. This situation makes the STD an indispensable part of the CEA’s decommissioning and waste management strategy. The continued operation of the STD necessitates renovation work –particularly on the civil engineering structures, which has been prescribed by ASN Chairman’s resolution CODEPCLG-2016-015866 of 18 April 2016. ASN authorised these works on 20 January 2022. In view of the lateness in starting the works, which necessitated a complex examination process, the CEA could not meet the prescribed completion deadline of 2021 and requested an extension. After in-depth analysis of the technical and organisational provisions proposed by the licensee, ASN gave authorisation in October 2021 for retrieval of the package which fell into the ILW-LL waste storage pit in 2017. The CEA carried out the retrieval operations on 15 December 2021. This return to normal should make it possible to increase the waste packaging rates in the STD and allow removal of the waste before operation of the facility is stopped temporarily for works. The lessons the licensee learned from this event regarding HOFs and the reliability of suction systems for handling packages must be taken into account in the operation of the facility. ASN considers that the level of safety and radiation protection is satisfactory on the whole. Process management and the monitoring of outside contractors involved in operation have improved. However, more rigorous documenting of internal authorisation processing is necessary, and the work deployment organisation must be better formalised. On 12 March 2021, ASN gave the CEA its opinion on the periodic safety review guidance file submitted on 23 September 2020. ASN will be particularly attentive to any actions required further to the last safety review and not yet carried out when the conclusions of the new periodic safety review are submitted, which is scheduled for in 2022. Active effluents treatment station – CEA centre The STE (BNI 37-B) has been shut down since 1 January 2014. The CEA submitted the decommissioning file for this facility in December 2021. As part of the decommissioning file preparation, the licensee started characterising the soils and the equipment, in order to determine the initial radiological condition of the facility. This characterisation work revealed the presence of artificial radionuclides outside the identified contaminated areas and in the stormwater network. These contaminations were reported to ASN as signif icant events and gave rise to a stormwater management action plan, the effectiveness of which is monitored by the CEA. Furthermore, the monitoring of outside contractors must be improved, particularly in view of the identified shortcomings, revealed by the detection of containment def iciencies on certain external tanks which had been inadequately inspected by an outside contractor. ASN considers that the level of nuclear safety of BNI 37-B in 2021 is on the whole satisfactory with regard to the follow-up of commitments and signif icant events. Improvements are required in the monitoring of outside contractors and the management of legacy pollutions. Plutonium Technology Facility and Chemical Purification Laboratory – CEA centre The Plutonium Technology Facility (ATPu –BNI 32) produced plutonium-based fuel elements intended for fast neutron or experimental reactors as from 1967, then, from 1987 until 1997, for PWRs using MOX fuel. The activities of the Chemical Purification Laboratory (LPC –BNI 54) were associated with those of the ATPu: physical-chemical verif ications and metallurgical examinations, treatment of effluents and contaminated waste. The two facilities were shut down in 2003 and are currently undergoing decommissioning. With regard to the ATPu, the campaigns for processing the drums containing alpha emitting radionuclides from BNI 56 92 ABSTRACTS – ASN Report on the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France in 2021 REGIONAL OVERVIEWOF NUCLEAR SAFETY AND RADIATION PROTECTION