European stress-tests: ASN publishes its national action plan that integrates the whole set of actions decided by France
On 26 April 2012, one year after the Fukushima disaster, a joint statement by ENSREG and the European Commission concluded the stress tests conducted on the European nuclear power plants. This statement emphasised the need to establish a global action plan to make sure that these stress tests are followed by measures to improve safety, at national level in particular, and that these measures are implemented in a consistent manner. The conclusions of the European Council meeting of 28 and 29 June 2012 confirmed the wish to see the creation of such an action plan.
The ENSREG global action plan dated 25 July 2012 provides for the nuclear safety regulator of each member country to publish a national action plan by the end of 2012.
The national action plan published by ASN reviews the state of implementation in France of the recommendations resulting from the European stress-tests conducted in 2011 and, more generally, all the actions decided further to these assessments. In France, the stress tests were conducted in the form of complementary safety assessments of the nuclear facilities; ASN published a end-of-assessment report on 3 January 2012 and, on 26 June 2012, issued 32 resolutions requiring the nuclear facility licensees to take measures to significantly reinforce the robustness of the facilities against extreme situations that exceed the existing safety margins.
The national action plan submitted to ENSREG comprises four sections:
- the first section addresses the three topics that formed the backbone of the European stress tests, namely natural hazards, loss of safety systems and severe accident management;
- the second section covers three other topics addressed at the extraordinary meeting of the Contracting Parties to the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CSN) held at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in August 2012, namely the organisation of the oversight of nuclear activities, the management of emergency and post-accident situations, and international cooperation;
- the third section reiterates the measures concerning the subcontracting of operations by the nuclear licensees: in France, the stress-test specifications were extended to cover these subjects;
- the fourth section provides tables summarising the key steps of the actions undertaken in these various areas.
This plan, like all the national action plans, will be performed by all European regulatory bodies and will include a ENSREG seminar in spring 2013.