News releases

All the news about nuclear safety and radiation protection

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.

Published on 10/10/2011 • 11:09 am

Information notice

Industrial accident at the Centraco facility: Level 1 on the INES scale

The accident that occurred on Monday, September 12, 2011 in the melting furnace of the Centraco facility in Codolet (Gard) caused the death of an employee and injured four others, one of them severely. The three workers who were slightly injured were allowed to return home the day after the accident. The one who was severely injured is still hospitalized in the Paris region. None of them show signs of radioactive contamination.

Published on 30/09/2011 • 10:27 am

Information notice

National Progress Report on European stress tests

France transmitted its National Progress Report on 15 September.

Published on 22/09/2011 • 05:58 pm

Information notice

Tripartite agreement between France, Switzerland and the CERN

On 28th August 2011 the Official Journal published the decree of the agreement, signed in Geneva on 15 November 2010 [1], on the protection against ionising radiation and the safety of the facilities at CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research).

Published on 14/09/2011 • 12:38 pm

Press release

Complementary safety assessments – Press Release, 14th September 2011

The accident that occurred on 11th March 2011 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in Japan, following an earthquake and tsunami of exceptional magnitude, is a major event from which every possible lesson should be drawn. The French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), which in charge of monitoring French nuclear installations, has ensured that a process of extensive in-depth feedback regarding the accident at Fukushima has been swiftly undertaken. This will be a long process. It will take several years, as was the case after the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl.

Published on 12/09/2011 • 05:21 pm

Information notice

Information Letter No.11

Since 2008, several inspections by ASN have examined the prestressing system[1] of the Reactor Building containment. During construction of the first concreting lifts of the inner containment wall, EDF notified ASN of noncompliance issues relating to the prestressing system (see Information Notice No. 8). In May 2011, new noncompliance issues regarding positioning of portions of the prestressing sheaths were identified. In addition to occasional deviations, ASN found that recurring anomalies in the system indicated a lack of preparation, skills and training in safety culture on the part of workers and shortcomings in EDF’s monitoring of its subcontractors. As a result, ASN requested EDF to suspend concreting of the inner containment wall on 23 June 2011 and to present an action plan to avoid any further deviations in constructing the prestressing sheaths.

Published on 12/09/2011 • 04:56 pm

Information notice

End of the event in Centraco (Gard) : press release #2

The event that occurred this morning in Centraco, nuclear installation located near Marcoule site (Gard) is considered as closed.

Published on 12/09/2011 • 03:59 pm

Press release

Information on the accident in Centraco (Gard) : press release #1

ASN, the French Nuclear Safety Authority, activated its emergency centre located in Paris XII at 12.30 following the accident that took place in Centraco (centre for treatment and conditioning of low level radioactive waste) located in Codolet near Marcoule (Gard, South-East of France).

Published on 22/08/2011 • 10:22 am

Information notice

Quarterly assessment of radiotherapy events

Between 1 April and 30 June 2011, twenty-four significant radiation protection events occurring during radiotherapy were classified as level 1 on the ASN-SFRO scale. The events, which are not expected to have any impact on patients' health, were nevertheless analysed to see if any lessons can be learnt from them (particularly in terms of organisation) and to avoid any recurrence.

Published on 18/08/2011 • 06:55 pm

Information notice

Liquid radioactive and chemical effluent discharge at the Cruas-Meysse site

On 28 July 2011, the ASN Commission adopted a temporary decision relating to effluent discharge from the Cruas-Meysse nuclear power plant. The decision, which responds to a request submitted by EDF on 1 June 2011, was the subject of a technical and administrative investigation by ASN, a public consultation by the departmental councils on the environment and health and technological risks in Drome and Ardeche and a public consultation by the local information committee in Cruas.

Published on 01/08/2011 • 06:58 pm

Information notice

Osiris and Isis experimental reactors may continue to operate

In its assessment of 27 May 2011 (2011-AV-0121), ASN determined that the Osiris reactor can continue operation until 2015, at which time the reactor should be shut down in compliance with ASN Commission decision 2008-DC-0013 of 16 September 2008. For its part, the Isis reactor can continue to operate for an additional ten years from the date on which its most recent safety review file was submitted, i.e., until 2019. The two experimental reactors constitute basic nuclear installation 40 operated by the CEA in the municipality of Saclay (Essonne)[1].

Published on 26/07/2011 • 03:07 pm

Information notice

CSA: ASN issues its opinion concerning the methodologies adopted by the operators

By the resolutions taken on 5 May 2011, the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de sûreté nucléaire – ASN) has required all operators of relevant basic nuclear installations, including AREVA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives – CEA), the French national power utility (Électricité de France – EDF) and the Laue-Langevin Institute (ILL[1]) to submit by 1 June 2011 at the latest, a memorandum describing the methodology they adopted in order to conduct the complementary safety assessment (évaluation complémentaire de la sûreté – ECS) for some of their installations with respect to the nuclear accident that occurred at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) in Japan, on 11 March 2011.

Published on 22/07/2011 • 04:57 pm

Press release

Reactor No. 1 of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant : ASN's position

In its opinion No. 2011-AV-0120 of 4 July 2011, ASN considers that subject to the forthcoming conclusions of the complementary safety assessments initiated following the Fukushima accident and in view of the result of the third periodic safety review of reactor No. 1 of the Fessenheim nuclear power plant, that reactor is capable of being operated for a period of ten more years after the third review, provided that the requirements in ASN resolution No. 2011-DC-0231 dated 4 July 2011 are complied with, particularly the following two main requirements...

Published on 13/07/2011 • 04:30 pm

Information notice

Increase of requirements on radiotherapy medical devices

Two serious incidents in 2006 and 2007 led the French authorities to implement a series of measures to strengthen the security of the practice of external radiotherapy. In line with these measures, ASN and AFSSAPS have committed a specific reflection on the relationship between the radiation protection requirements of the Directive 97/43/Euratom and IAEA recommendations to the essential requirements of Directive 93/42/EEC applicable to devices including external radiotherapy linear accelerators of electrons.

Published on 13/07/2011 • 04:17 pm

Press release

Regulatory status of small amount of radioactive substances added to lamps

HERCA, the association of the Heads of European Radiological protection Competent Authorities, approves an interim Statement promoting a consistent European approach to the processes of national assessment and regulatory decisions on the use of lamps containing small amounts of radioactive substances. With this aim, the results of national assessments and regulatory decisions on this issue will be shared in Europe through HERCA. As consumer goods are introduced in open markets in Europe, HERCA recognises more generally the need for harmonization of the radiation safety regulation of goods containing small quantities of radioactive material.