Nuclear safety expertise
Based in particular on an ongoing research effort and on the feedback from previous safety assessments, the expert appraisal work of IRSN is intended to shore up the positions of the authorities and government bodies in relation to all nuclear safety dossiers, whether relating to facilities that are in operation, under construction or being decommissioned, or else new concepts such as small modular reactors (SMR).
Again in 2021, the work of IRSN on safety appraisals was made possible by an effort to adapt to the requirements imposed by the Covid-19 health crisis, leading in particular to the postponement of activities, such as unit shutdowns for maintenance and core refuelling. Furthermore, in response to the ramp-up in expert appraisal activities linked to decommissioning and the recovery of old waste, IRSN has reviewed its organisation by bringing together its experts in this field within the same department, thereby enabling a cross-functional approach to the examination of dossiers from different nuclear operators and the ranking of expert assessment priorities.
While 2020 saw the publication of the summary notice of the 4th periodic review of 900 MWe reactors (RP4 900), 2021 was the year in which, one, work began on the generic phase of the 4th periodic review of the 1,300 MWe reactors (RP4 1,300) and, two, expert appraisals were conducted for the commissioning of the EPR reactor at Flamanville (Manche).