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2011 CEA Risk Control Report
18 June 2012 | On 18 June, CEA presented its annual risk control report for the year 2011. The past year was marked by the nuclear catastrophe at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
Post-Fukushima measures: Five CEA nuclear facilities subjected to stress testingAt the request of the French Prime Minister, all French nuclear operators have conducted complementary safety assessments of their facilities. In 2011, five CEA facilities were subjected to a complementary safety assessment: - Cadarache site: RJH research reactor (currently under construction), ATPu plutonium processing facility(currently being dismantled), and MASURCA research reactor (currently in operation),- Marcoule site: PHENIX research reactor (currently shut down),- Saclay site: OSIRIS research reactor (currently in operation).Based on the results of these assessments, the Nuclear Safety Authority has submitted a report to the Prime Minister stating that the CEA facilities inspected guarantee a level of safety sufficient to not request immediate shutdown. Nevertheless, in light of the experience gained from the Fukushima accident, efforts must be pursued to improve robustness against extreme events whose potential consequences exceed existing safety margins.Reporting of significant events to relevant authoritiesAll regulatory non-compliances occurring in CEA facilities or during the transport of radioactive materials must be reported to the relevant nuclear safety authorities . In 2011, 100 events were reported (as compared to 108 in 2010). 93 of these events were classified as INES Level 0 , and 7 were classified as INES Level 1. None of them had a significant impact on personnel or the environment. Approximately 25% of the events reported concerned delays in regulatory inspections of safety and security equipment. Worker ProtectionRadiation protection – In 2011, the exposure of CEA personnel to ionizing radiation remained well below the regulatory limit defined for nuclear industry workers (20 mSv per year), and even well below the limit for the general public (1 mSv per year). The average individual dose exposure amounted to 0.11 mSv for CEA employees and 0.10 mSv for subcontractor employees , i.e. practically the same as the previous year. Occupational accidents – In 2011, the occupational accident frequency ratefn in CEA facilities dropped to 5.4, remaining well below the national ratefn of 23.3. This decrease concerns both CEA employees and subcontractor employees working in CEA facilities.Environmental monitoring Liquid and gaseous radioactive releases from CEA centres are strictly limited by regulations intended to ensure a negligible environmental and health impact. All necessary measures are taken to minimize releases, i.e. waste collection and transfer to appropriate disposal facilities, waste treatment in processing plants (to reduce radioactivity and/or chemical toxicity), wastewater recycling, and continuous hydrogeological monitoring. In 2011, liquid releases from CEA facilities remained at a stable level as compared to the previous year, and still well below authorized limits. Gaseous releases are filtered and continuously monitored through 200 monitoring channels. The overall volume has decreased in recent years and remains well below authorised limits. Each year, calculations are performed to assess the radiological impact of CEA activities on nearby populations. These calculations are based on actual volumes released from CEA facilities, using conservative exposure scenarios. The calculated impact is extremely low, and well below the regulatory public dose limit of 1 mSv per year. All data collected by CEA teams is transmitted to the National Radioactivity Monitoring Network, which makes all results available to the public via its website (www.mesure-radioactivité.fr).Physical protection of facilitiesIn 2011, several incidents occurred requiring mobilisation of CEA's emergency response centre: - 12 September: Accidental explosion of a furnace in the Centraco nuclear facility (EDF subsidiary) located near the CEA Marcoule site. The explosion caused the death of a worker and required the implementation of the on-site emergency plan to provide assistance;- 4 October: Discovery of approximately 500 WWI grenades in an excavation site in downtown Grenoble, evacuated by the Lyon mine clearance team;- 5 and 6 November: Increase in groundwater level in Cadarache area caused by heavy rainfall;- 5 December: Foiled intrusion attempt in Cadarache site. Protection of computer systemsIn 2011, faced with the evolution of computer threats and benefiting from the increased cooperation between researchers via the Internet (development of web-based collaboration sites, new IT security tools and applications, etc.), CEA deployed a new network traffic monitoring system and updated its IT usage charter. Most unauthorized access attempts are detected and rejected by the first line of defence implemented by CEA as part of its IT security policy. For further informationThis article provides only a brief overview of main results for the past year. Detailed information is provided in CEA’s Annual Risk Control Report, available upon request or via CEA’s website www.cea.fr.