News releases

All the news about nuclear safety and radiation protection

Published on 21/03/2012 • 02:00 pm

Information notice

Information Letter No.12

ASN oversight of the Flamanville 3 EPR construction site continued during the second half of 2011. Details of recent findings are provided below: - Inspection of prestressing tendon duct installation work - Manufacture of polar crane support brackets - Oversight of complex concreting operations - Quality control of tank, pool and liner welding operations - ASN report on the complementary safety assessments conducted by EDF after the Fukushima accident - Repair of reactor vessel head - Non-conformances detected during the pipe manufacturing process

Published on 12/03/2012 • 03:00 pm

Information notice

ASN and Greenpeace hold meeting

Jean-Christophe Niel, Director General of ASN, received a delegation from Greenpeace France, which presented him with the IEER-WISE-Greenpeace France report, Post-Fukushima Nuclear Safety in France. The report’s authors, Yves Marignac, director of the Paris office of the World Information Service on Energy (WISE) and Arjun Makhijani, President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), were also present.

Published on 12/03/2012 • 02:40 pm

Information notice

Workers exposed to ionising radiation: ASN and the DGT support the HERCA initiative

ASN, the French Nuclear Safety Authority, and the DGT, France’s Directorate-General for Labour, support the HERCA initiative to promote implementation of an EC-wide system for monitoring exposure to ionising radiation given the context of the free movement of workers across Europe

Published on 12/03/2012 • 11:14 am

Information notice

Traces of iodine-131 detected again in several European countries

ASN has been informed by its European counterparts of new cases of iodine-131 being detected in several countries in northern and eastern Europe. IRSN, the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety, responded to the presence of this isotope in atmospheric aerosols by stepping up the frequency of its environmental radioactivity measurements to detect whether the phenomenon also affected France.

Published on 07/02/2012 • 10:00 am

Information notice

ATMEA1 reactor project

Following a review process lasting 18 months, ASN issues a positive opinion on the safety options for the ATMEA1 reactor project. With the technical support of the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), ASN reviewed the safety options for the ATMEA1 pressurised water reactor. This medium-power reactor (1100 MWe) is designed by the ATMEA company, an AREVA and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) joint venture.

Published on 06/02/2012 • 03:00 pm

Press release

Pipe nonconformity in two Cattenom NPP fuel storage pools

On 18th January 2012, EDF notified ASN that the absence of a "siphon breaker" orifice on the fuel storage pools of reactors 2 and 3 had been detected during an internal inspection. In every reactor, a pool is provided for the storage of fuel assemblies pending their use in the reactor core or pending disposal. The fuel assemblies are kept under water and permanently cooled. A significant drop in the water level would lead to an exposure of the fuel assemblies and to their damage. Alarms indicate any drop in this level, with the necessary action being triggered.

Published on 26/01/2012 • 10:04 am

Information notice

High-level meeting of the ASN Commission with Mr Goshi Hosono

The Commission and the General Directorate of ASN received officially, on 19 January, at his request, the Japanese Minister, Mr Goshi Hosono.

Published on 09/01/2012 • 02:30 pm

Press release

HERCA Press release

Putting patient safety first is a priority for both HERCA, the association of the Heads of European Radiological Protection Competent Authorities and, COCIR, the European trade association representing the medical imaging, electromedical and healthcare IT industry, who are working together to address concerns related to radiation exposure in computed tomography (CT). At the initiative of HERCA, COCIR CT manufacturers have developed voluntary commitments contributing to the reduction of CT dose which have been welcomed by HERCA.

Published on 03/01/2012 • 12:00 pm

Press release

ASN Report on the Complementary Safety Assessments (CSA)

ASN is making public its report on the complementary safety assessments (CSA) carried out further to the Fukushima accident in Japan. This morning the ASN President, André-Claude Lacoste, delivered it personally to the Prime Minister. Following the complementary safety assessments of the priority nuclear facilities, ASN considers that the facilities examined offer a sufficient level of safety for it not to request the immediate shutdown of any of them. At the same time, ASN considers that for the continuation of their operation, an increase in the robustness of the facilities to extreme situations, beyond their existing safety margins, is necessary, as rapidly as possible. ASN will therefore be requiring that the licensees take a series of measures and reinforce the safety requirements relative to the prevention of natural risks (earthquake and flooding) and risks associated with other industrial activities, the monitoring of subcontractors and the handling of nonconformities.

Published on 20/12/2011 • 10:45 am

Information notice

Repairing the defects on the bottom of Gravelines 1’s reactor pressure vessel

During an inspection carried out during the third ten-yearly visit of Gravelines 1’s reactor, EDF detected defects in a through-wall penetration on the bottom of the reactor pressure vessel. A through-wall penetration (TWP) on the bottom of the pressure vessel is a tube positioned at the bottom of a reactor vessel in a nuclear power station. The TWP is welded to the bottom of the vessel. Its role is to permit the introduction of instrumentation probes into the reactor core. 50 TWP are positioned in Gravelines 1’s reactor vessel. A leaking TWP would represent a breach in the reactor’s primary circuit.

Published on 22/11/2011 • 03:15 pm

Information notice

Transport of radioactive materials

Eleven Castor HAW 28 M casks containing 301 canisters of vitrified waste were recently shipped from La Hague in France to the German waste storage facility in Gorleben (Lower Saxony), under an intergovernmental[1] agreement on the return to Germany of radioactive waste resulting from the reprocessing in France of German spent fuel. Within this context, ASN conducted several checking operations and public information actions.

Published on 17/11/2011 • 09:30 am

Press release

Complementary Safety Assessments (CSA)

On completion of the Complementary Safety Assessment (CAS) process engaged further to its decisions of 5 May 2011, ASN will present its conclusions on these CAS at the beginning of 2012.

Published on 09/11/2011 • 02:30 pm

Information notice

Report on compliance by France with the Joint Convention obligations

The Fourth triennial meeting of the Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste (or Joint Convention) will be held from 14 to 23 May 2012 in Vienna.

Published on 07/11/2011 • 02:30 pm

Press release

Recommendations about the risk factors involved in childhood leukaemia

On 7 November 2011, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), the Directorate General for Health (DGS) and the Directorate General for Risk Prevention (DGPR) issued a report including an inventory of current knowledge of childhood leukaemia and recommendations for new studies and research required to drive progress in this area.

Published on 20/10/2011 • 03:23 pm

Information notice

First European directive on radioactive waste and spent fuel management

On 19 July 2011, the Council of the European Union adopted a directive “establishing a Community framework for the responsible and safe management of spent fuel and radioactive waste” (Council Directive 2011/70/Euratom). The adoption of this directive, two years after the nuclear safety directive was adopted, is an important event and helps to reinforce nuclear safety within the European Union, while ensuring that Member States assume responsibility for managing their radioactive waste and spent fuel.