ASN New Year’s greetings to the press: Industrial rigorousness, the first nuclear safety challenge
On the occasion of the New Year, ASN – through its Chairman Mr. Bernard Doroszczuk – presented its greetings to the press on 23 January, at its Montrouge headquarters, in the presence of members of the Commission and the Director General’s office.
The ASN Chairman recalled that 2019 had been a dense year, marked by serious subjects which will determine the nuclear safety and radiation protection actions for 2020:
- The ASN position statement of June 2019 concerning the repair of the Flamanville 3 EPR containment penetration welds;
- The joint ASN/ASND position statement on CEA’s strategy for the recovery and packaging of legacy waste and the decommissioning of its facilities;
- ASN’s active participation in the public debate on the 5th edition of the National Plan for Radioactive Materials and Waste Management (PNGMDR);
- The conclusion of the work done by the Steering committee for managing the post-accident phase of a nuclear accident or radiological emergency situation (Codirpa) (carried out over the period 2014 – 2019);
- The currently ongoing in-depth examination at ASN and IRSN of the studies into the generic part of the 4th periodic safety review of EDF’s 900 MWe reactors
Mr. Bernard Doroszczuk more particularly underlined:
In the nuclear field:
- The greater awareness on the part of the nuclear licensees of the industrial challenges facing them collectively.
Over and above the efforts made by the nuclear sector to maintain the skills level essential to ensure the quality of its work and the safety of its facilities, the inspections performed by ASN and the initial lessons learned from the action plan against irregularities confirmed the need for certain players in the sector to strengthen their professional rigorousness.
With regard to the orientations of the plan presented by EDF, in order to address the demands of the Government, Bernard Doroszczuk stressed “that they should not only be targeted on new construction projects being carried out by the sector, but deployed immediately with regard to significant maintenance work on the facilities in service and to the complex legacy waste recovery and decommissioning project”. M. Doroszczuk also recalled that all the licensees and companies in the nuclear sector must mobilise to “more precisely define the steps to be taken, on the basis of their own operating experience feedback”.
In the medical field:
- The high level of radiation protection for patients who benefit from diagnostic or therapeutic procedures using ionising radiation, even if organisational shortcomings still persist in certain centres.
ASN will be paying particular attention to the risks arising from the considerable workload in the units in the light of the human resources available in a medical sector subject to considerable pressure, as well as the cumulative effect of the doses to which the health professionals can be exposed, notably when using fluoroscopy-guided interventional practices in the operating theatre.
In this context, ASN restates its strategic priorities, which more particularly consist in:
- Continuing to implement the graded approach to nuclear safety and radiation protection oversight in the light of the issues involved and how those in charge of the activities, or the licensees, carry out their responsibilities.
- Consolidate its working by reinforcing its management independence through the creation of a budget programme dedicated to nuclear safety and radiation protection, under the responsibility of the ASN Chairman.
- And encourage the stakeholders to anticipate medium/long-term strategic subjects far earlier, such as the management of radioactive materials and waste, the management of decommissioning, the need for available technical resources within the sector, or the interfaces between energy policy and the ability to maintain margins.