ASN overview

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.

  TSN law improves and clarifies the status of ASN with regard to nuclear safety and radiation protection. ASN thus increases its independence and its legitimacy with respect to those in charge of promoting, developing and carrying out nuclear activities. It enjoys a new legal foundation and a status comparable to that of its counterparts in other industrialised nations. It also has enhanced powers enabling it to penalise violations and take all necessary urgent measures.

The new status consolidates ASN's goal, which is to provide nuclear supervision that is efficient, impartial, legitimate and credible, that is recognised by the citizens and that constitutes an international benchmark for good practice.

 The ASN headquarter is located at:

ASN Headquarter location

15, rue Louis Lejeune 
92120 Montrouge

You can reach us:

Phone. : +33 1 46 16 40 00
Email :  info@asn.fr

Mailing address :
The ASN headquarters is located at 15 rue Louis Lejeune 92120 Montrouge

Autorité de sûreté nucléaire
15, rue Louis Lejeune
CS 70013
92541 Montrouge cedex
France

Its core duty

Regulations

ASN contributes to drafting of regulations, by giving the Government its opinion on draft decrees and ministerial orders, or by issuing technical regulatory decisions. ASN also makes the individual decisions stipulated in the Public Health Code.

Inspection

ASN checks compliance with the rules and specifications applicable to the installations and activities within its field of competence. Inspection is one of the primary means of verification available to ASN, which also has appropriate powers of enforcement and punishment.

Information

In particular through its website www.asn.fr and its Contrôle magazine, ASN informs the public and other stakeholders (local information committees, environmental protection associations, etc), about its activities and the state of nuclear safety and radiation protection in France.
In the event of an emergency, ASN assists the Government.
It in particular sends the competent authorities its recommendations regarding the civil protection measures to be taken.

Regulation of a diversity of activities and installations

ASN regulation covers a wide variety of activities and installations, including nuclear power plants, radioactive waste management, nuclear fuel transport, radioactive material packages, medical installations, research laboratories, industrial activities, and in particular:

  • 58 nuclear reactors producing most of the electricity consumed in France, as well as the EPR reactor currently under construction;
  • all French installations involved in the fuel cycle, from enrichment to reprocessing;
  • several thousand installations and activities using sources of ionising radiation for medical, industrial or research purposes;
  • several hundred thousand consignments of radioactive materials shipped nationwide, every year.

A few key figures

  • More than 520 staff, with close to half of them in the 11 regional divisions.
  • 321 inspectors distributed among the central directions, the regional divisions and the departments (2019)
  • 75% management level.
  • A total budget of 63,97 million euros, and 83,4 million euros budget
    devoted to IRSN appraisal work in 2019.
  • More than 1 817 inspections on nuclear installations, radioactive material transport and in the medical, industrial and research sectors in 2019.
  • 23 420 inspection follow-up letters published in 2019 on the website www.asn.fr

Expert assistance

In making certain decisions, ASN calls on the expertise of technical support organisations.
The Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) is its main support organisation.
ASN also asks for opinions and recommendations from the scientific and technical advisory committees of experts.
ASN's aim is to provide efficient, impartial, legitimate and credible nuclear regulation, recognised by the citizens and regarded internationally as a benchmark for good practice.

The ASN strategy

In 2017, when it developed its strategic plan 2018 – 2020, ASN laid down the guidelines of its oversight action. These guidelines constitute the foundation of a shared culture and collective know-how.

Created by the Act of 13 June 2006 on transparency and security in the nuclear field, on behalf of the State, ASN ensures the oversight of nuclear safety and radiation protection in order to protect people and  the environment. It informs the public and contributes to enlightened societal choices. ASN decides and acts with rigour and discernment: its aim is to exercise an  oversight that is recognised by citizens  and regarded internationally as a benchmark for good practice.

The multi-year strategic plan guides the action of the departments for a period of 3 years. It defines a common project and constitutes a reference document for ASN’s management actions. This document, which is used  by the staff, presents five broad lines of collective action:

  1. | Reinforce the implementation of a graded and efficient approach to our oversight
     
  2. | Better manage the technical examinations process
     
  3. | Reinforce the effectiveness of our action on the ground
     
  4. Consolidate our functioning
     
  5. | Consolidate the French and European approach through international action

The ASN Organisation

Organisation of the new ASN

 • A Commission of 5 commissioners
 • A Director General's office
 • 8 departments
 • 11 regional divisions
 • An Office of Administration
 • A Management and Expertise Office

The ASN regional divisions conduct their activities under the authority of the regional representatives appointed by the ASN Chairman. They represent the ASN Chairman's in the regions and contribute to ASN's public information role. The divisions perform most of the direct inspections of BNIs, of radioactive material transport and of small-scale nuclear activities.

In emergency situations, the divisions assist the préfet (in a département, representative of the State appointed by the President) of the département (Administrative region headed by a Préfet), who is responsible for protecting the populations, and supervise the on-site operations to make the installation safe, if it is accessible or does not constitute a hazard.

Regional organisation

ASN comprises the headquarters and 11 regional divisions with responsibility for one or more administrative regions. This organisation enables ASN to perform its regulation duties nationwide as well as in the overseas territories.

Divisions

The ASN commission

The Commission defines ASN's general nuclear safety and radiation protection policy.

IMPARTIALITY

The commissioners perform their duties with total impartiality and receive no instructions from either the Government or any other person or institution.

INDEPENDENCE

The commissioners perform their duties on a full-time basis. Their mandate is for six years and is not renewable.

A member may only be relieved of his or her duties if no longer capable of performing them or in the event of resignation duly confirmed by a majority of the commissioners at a meeting of the Commission. The President of the Republic may also relieve a member of the Commission of his or her duties in the event of a serious breach of his or her obligations.

COMPETENCE

The Commission takes decisions and issues opinions, published in the ASN's Official Bulletin.

It defines ASN's external relations policy, both domestically and internationally.

It defines ASN's regulatory policy. The Chairman appoints nuclear safety inspectors, radiation protection inspectors, conventional safety inspectors in the nuclear power plants and officers in charge of checking compliance with the requirements applicable to pressure vessels.

The Commission opens an enquiry subsequent to an incident or accident. It drafts the report on nuclear safety and radiation protection in France. Its chairman presents ASN’s activities to the competent commissions of the National Assembly and the Senate, as well as to the Parliamentary Office for the Evaluation of Scientific and Technological Choices.

It drafts ASN internal regulations and appoints its representatives to the High Committee for Transparency and Information on Nuclear Security.

The Commissioners :

The ASN Commission

* Pursuant to Act 2017-55 of 20 January 2017 constituting the general statutes of Independent Administrative Authorities and Independent Public Authorities, which stipulates renewal of half of the ASN Commission, except for its Chairman, every three years, Decree 2019-190 of 14 March 2019 (codifying the provisions applicable to BNIs, the transport of radioactive substances and transparency in the nuclear field) sets out the relevant interim provisions and modified the duration of the mandates of the three Commissioners.

APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC

Bernard DOROSZCZUK

President

Appointed by decree of the President of the Republic, for a period of 6 years.

 

Géraldine PINA JOMIR

Commissioner

Appointed by decree of the President of the Republic, for a period of 6 years.

 

Sylvie CADET-MERCIER

Commissioner

Appointed by decree of the President of the Republic, for a period of 6 years*.

  

APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE

Laure TOURJANSKY

Commissioner

Appointed by decree of the President of the Republic, for the remaining term of the mandate of Ms Lydie Evrard, who is taking up other duties*.

 

APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Jean-Luc LACHAUME

Commissioner

Appointed by decree of the President of the Republic, for a period of 6 years*.

 

The general policies of ASN

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.

Regulation

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.

Oversight

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.

Transparency

 The general policy statement on transparency will be posted on line soon on the ASN website.

International relations

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.

The ASN position statements

As part of its responsibilities, ASN may adopt positions on specific topics, as was the case in 2009 and 2010 on the design of the EPR instrumentation and control system, the safety of radiotherapy treatments using narrow beams and the continued operation of the 900 MWe reactors.

ASN also adopts positions on topics of international scope, such as the safety of new nuclear reactor construction projects around the world.

These policies and position statements, supplemented by the work and opinions of ASN’s advisory committees on a number of technical topics, contribute to the definition of the ASN doctrine.