SharePoint
Aide
IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

Search our site :

ok

Contact us :

ok
En Fr

Enhancing Nuclear Safety


NewsRoom
Send Print
08/03/2018

Overall assessment of safety at basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in operation in France in 2015-2016

 

IRSN publishes the lessons learned from its analysis of significant events which have occurred in 2015 and 2016 at 85 civil basic nuclear installations (INBs) other than nuclear power plants (NPPs) in operation.

 

Overall assessment of safety at basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in France in 2015-2016Produced every two year since 2009, this report concerns 76 nuclear facilities such as plants, laboratories, facilities for the treatment, disposal and storage of waste, which are in operation or are undergoing final shutdown or decommissioning, and 9 research reactors. These facilities are operated by around twenty different licensees in France.

In 2015 and 2016, 233 and 218 significant events were respectively reported to the French Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN).  This number remains similar to previous years.

For IRSN, the relative stability of the annual number of significant events, which are often due to organizational and human factors, suggests that control over day-to-day operations has reached a plateau. Progress in this area, which is desirable to enhance safety, will require improvement actions by operators.

None of the events reported had any significant consequences for workers, the public or the environment, nor did they lead to any major failure in the risk control measures applied at the facilities. In 2015 and 2016, no event was classified as Level 2 or higher on the INES scale.

 

Download the report Safety at civil basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in operation in France - Lessons learned by IRSN from significant events reported in 2015 and 2016” (PDF, 7,06 Mo)

 

Observed improvements and points still requiring vigilance

In terms of progress noted in 2015 and 2016, events related to criticality risks at the FBFC plant in Romans-sur-Isère (Drôme) decreased by half compared with previous years. For IRSN, these are the first tangible results of the in-depth reorganization of the safety organization at this plant for manufacturing fuel elements for reactors, in parallel with the renovation of the industrial tool and the implementation of a series of physical improvements following the last safety review.

Four subjects still require special vigilance by licensees:

  • Compliance with the safety requirement that the valve on cylinders used for storing and transporting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) be protected from impacts by a metal cover. If the seal between the valve and the cylinder starts to leak, this could cause loss of containment of the UF6 and its release into the environment. Four events at the Tricastin site in 2016 involved deviations affecting the valve's protective cover. IRSN believes that the experience feedback from these events shows reflection is required on the design of the cover in respect of impacts.

 

  • The appropriateness and adequacy of the human and organisational measures taken to carry out inspections of the HEPA filters involved in limiting radioactive releases. This vigilance must be implemented by the licensee and the subcontractors, these activities being very often outsourced.

 

  • Enforce the technical and organisational measures associated with workers putting on and removing their protective clothing when working in areas with a contamination risk. In 2016, three events have caused the internal contamination of operators following the removal of their protective clothing when leaving worksites involving alpha-emitting radionuclides (such as uranium, plutonium and americium).

 

  • Better take into account the specific features of the demobilisation phases of dismantling worksites (e.g. treatment and conditioning of waste before its removal) which may involve specific risks (dispersion of radioactive materials, fire, etc.) or constraints (lack of space, noise, etc.).

 

 

Download the report Safety at civil basic nuclear installations other than nuclear power plants in operation in France - Lessons learned by IRSN from significant events reported in 2015 and 2016” (PDF, 7,06 Mo)

 

Back to all the news

Close

Send to a friend

The information you provide in this page are single use only and will not be saved.
* Required fields

Recipient's email:*  

Sign with your name:* 

Type your email address:*   

Add a message :

Do you want to receive a copy of this email?

Send

Cancel

Close

WP_IMPRIMER_TITLE

WP_IMPRIMER_MESSAGE

Back

Ok