The Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), an independent administrative authority set up by law 2006-686 of 13 June 2006 concerning nuclear transparency and safety (known as the “TSN law”) is tasked, on behalf of the State, with regulating nuclear safety and radiation protection in order to protect workers, patients, the public and the environment from the risks involved in nuclear activities. It also contributes to informing the citizens.
The general policy statements set out the major aims of ASN in its areas of action: regulation, persuasion and sanctions, oversight, transparency, international relations, management of radiological emergencies, decommissioning and delicensing of basic nuclear installations in France. They are intended to disseminate and explain the ASN doctrine.
The ASN policy on regulation is intended to: ensure a high level of protection of workers, patients, the public and the environment, by taking into account in particular the rules and the best foreign and international practices and by participating in the development and implementation of these practices; encourage the development of a “safety culture” fully understood and shared by the various stakeholders in nuclear safety and radiation protection; ensure that the requirements are commensurate with the challenges of nuclear safety and radiation protection; define the rights and duties of stakeholders in the area, including by applying the principle of responsibility of the licensee.
Persuasion and sanctions
The principles of the ASN sanction policy are based on impartial, documented measures appropriate for the level of risk arising from the observed situation. Their importance is commensurate with the health and environmental issues associated with any observed deviation and also takes into account endogenous factors relating to the behaviour of the offender and exogenous factors relating to the context of the deviation.
The oversight of nuclear activities is a fundamental responsibility of ASN. It is inseparable from the ASN requirements, which it renders credible through verification of compliance. Its objective is to verify that all licensees fully assume their responsibilities and comply with the requirements of the regulations on radiation protection and nuclear safety in order to protect workers, patients, the public and the environment from the risks relating to nuclear activities, in an integrated approach. It contributes to the determination of the ASN opinion on licensee performance or the issues associated with a nuclear operator or activity.
The general policy statement on transparency will be posted on line soon on the ASN website.
The general policy statement on international relations will be posted on line soon on the ASN website.
Management of radiological emergencies
Article 4, paragraph 4° of the Act of 13 June 2006 on Transparency and Security in the Nuclear Field (TSN Act) stipulates that “ASN is involved in the management of radiological emergencies resulting from events likely to harm the health of persons and the environment through exposure to ionising radiation and occurring in France or potentially affecting French territory. It contributes its technical assistance to the competent authorities for the drafting of the provisions in the emergency response plans covering the risks resulting from nuclear activities defined in articles 14 and 15 of act no. 2004-811 of 13 August 2004 on modernisation of civil defence.
Decommissioning and delicensing of basic nuclear installations in France
ASN, after broad consultation, has defined and rendered official its policy on the decommissioning of basic nuclear installations. Like all industrial installations, at the end of their period of operation nuclear installations undergo decommissioning prior to possible release of the sites where they are located or reuse of the sites for another activity. The objective of this document is to define the policy and the expectations of ASN concerning more particularly: the various decommissioning strategies that might be implemented by the licensees; the conditions governing the end of the period of operation and the decommissioning; the final status of the nuclear installations after decommissioning and delicensing; informing the public.
Management of polluted sites and ground
The general policy statement on the management of polluted sites and ground will be posted on line soon on the ASN website.