IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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IRSN publishes the English edition of its overall assessment on safety and radiation protection of the French nuclear power plant fleet in 2013

This report is based on the Institute’s scientific and technical expertise of significant events, and its analysis of several events that it found to be the most noteworthy in 2013.


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

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“IRSN's Position on Safety and Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2013” is the latest edition of the annual report presenting IRSN’s point on view on safety and radiation protection of the French 58 nuclear power reactors currently operated by electric utility company EDF.


 Download “IRSN's Position on Safety and Radiation Protection at Nuclear Power Plants in France in 2013” (PDF, 3,95 Mo)

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This report does not find any notable change in significant safety-related events from the previous report in 2012. Nevertheless, it confirms the increase in the number of significant radiation protection-related events observed since 2010. IRSN notes that the overwhelming majority of events that occurred in 2013 had no significant impact on plant safety and no consequences for the health of workers and the public.

The analysis confirms that EDF's efforts appear to be successful in handling the main causes of certain types of events such as periodic tests that had been increasing in recent years. Nevertheless, vigilance over organizational and human aspects is still necessary during a period of significant staff turnover. 

IRSN has highlighted the considerable progress protecting nuclear plants from internal and external hazards that led or will lead EDF to implement modifications to its reactors. Finally, IRSN continues to pay particular attention to EDF's efforts to improve reactor safety as a result of stress tests performed after the disaster at the Fukushima-Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan on 11 March 2011.

In the report, IRSN also provides its analysis of several events and anomalies that it considered the most significant in 2013. 

As a public expert in the field of research and expertise on nuclear and radiological risks, IRSN contributes to the policy of transparency in the nuclear field in France. This report is intended to contribute to a better understanding by the stakeholders and the public of the practical issues of safety and radiation protection associated with the exploitation of nuclear facilities, as well as the progress made in terms of safety and of shortcomings identified.


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

Operators of regulated nuclear facilities must report all significant events to ASN, the French Nuclear Safety Authority, within 48 hours of detection. For IRSN, the number of significant events does not itself serve as a quantifying measure of good operating practices, and variations in this number cannot be directly associated with a variation in safety level or in radiation protection. Significant events are, however, indicative of issues that need to be analyzed and understood with a view to identifying relevant strategies for improving plant safety and radiation protection during operation.


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