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Enhancing Nuclear Safety


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23/03/2016

IRSN publishes the English version of its overall assessment of safety at basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in France in 2013-2014


Produced every two year since 2009, this report concerns 73 facilities such as plants, laboratories, facilities for the treatment, disposal and storage of waste, and facilities which have been decommissioned, and 9 research reactors, operated by around twenty different licensees in France.

 

Infographics : Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2013

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IRSN publishes the lessons learned from its analysis of significant events which have occurred in 2013 and 2014 at 82 civil basic nuclear installations (INBs) other than nuclear power plants (NPPs).

Produced every two year since 2009, this report concerns 73 facilities such as plants, laboratories, facilities for the treatment, disposal and storage of waste, and facilities which have been decommissioned, and 9 research reactors, operated by around twenty different licensees in France.

Read the flipbook version of the report “Safety at civil basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in France - Lessons learned by IRSN from significant events reported in 2013 and 2014”

Download the PDF of the report “Safety at civil basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in France - Lessons learned by IRSN from significant events reported in 2013 and 2014” (PDF, 11,4 Mo)

Download infographics

210 and 227 significant events were respectively reported in 2013 and 2014 to the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN).  This number remains similar to previous years and tends to "stabilize" at around 200 to 220.

 

Observed improvements and points still requiring vigilance

On the one hand, among the improvements observed in 2013 and 2014, IRSN found two subjects of particular interest:

Efforts made by the licensees to increase reliability of organisational and human measures related to handling operations, in particular at the spent fuel reprocessing plant of AREVA NC La Hague and in the radioactive waste storage facilities operated by the CEA.

Important improvement program deployed by the licensee of the FBFC plant in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme) to enhance operating practices, particularly regarding management of criticality risks (prevention of uncontrolled chain reactions).

On the other hand, three subjects still require special vigilance by licensees:

Ensuring full control over the safety documentation of facilities. IRSN’s cross-cutting analysis of events reveal a large number of cases for which parts of the safety documentation are not fully understood at the facilities, are not applied, are inaccurate or not applicable to the situation.

Ensuring in-depth and comprehensive planning of installation clean-up and dismantling operations. Risks of worker exposure to ionising radiation are higher during these operations which may require personnel to work in close proximity to radioactive materials.

Ensuring more rigorously that personnel observe access conditions to controlled areas and comply with the radiological zoning implemented.


Number of significant events: what is the real significance of this indicator?



Variations in the number of significant events cannot be directly interpreted as a rise or fall in safety or radiation protection levels in facilities. Significant events point to issues that need to be analysed and understood in order to identify appropriate strategies for improving safety and radiation protection at facilities.



 

Periodic safety review: taking into account the specific nature of each installation

In this report, IRSN presents a summary and the key lessons learned from its assessment, in 2013 and 2014, of the first periodic safety review for 4 INBs.

One of the lessons learned is related to the importance of the approach and methods implemented, by the licensees:

to review compliance (stage of the safety reassessment that involves comparing the actual state of the installation to the safety requirements and applicable regulations) and,

to check on the management of ageing phenomena, particularly with a view to taking into account "as closely as possible" the specific nature of the installation in question and its expected operating outlook until the next periodic safety review.

Read the flipbook version of the report “Safety at civil basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in France - Lessons learned by IRSN from significant events reported in 2013 and 2014”

Download the PDF of the report “Safety at civil basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in France - Lessons learned by IRSN from significant events reported in 2013 and 2014” (PDF, 11,4 Mo)

Download infographics

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