IPPAS missions play an important role to provide with an external review of a nuclear security regime and its implementation on a nuclear facility. France considers it as a very relevant tool developed by IAEA, whose legitimacy is internationally recognized, that can serve national authorities, according to their needs, to improve nuclear security globally. Internally as well, it can be a very good opportunity to raise the awareness of all the national stakeholders and to (re)create momentum.
France hosted its first IPPAS mission in 2011. During NSS 2016, President HOLLANDE stated that France would host a follow-up mission in 2018. The Ministry for an Ecological and Solidary Transition, competent authority in charge of the security of nuclear material, nuclear facilities and transports, hosted this new mission thanks to the support of its Department for nuclear security.
In 2011, the modules covered by the IPPAS mission were the following:
National review of nuclear security regime for nuclear material and nuclear facilities (module 1)
Nuclear facility review (module 2): visit of Gravelines NPP, one of the biggest in Western Europe, operated by EDF
The modules covered by the 2018 mission were the same as those covered in 2011. In addition, the IPPAS team reviewed module 5 dedicated to computer security. The facility chosen by France for the review of module 2 was the enrichment facility Georges Besse II, operated by ORANO. The report provided by the experts to the Ministry for and Ecological and Solidary Transition at the end of the mission concludes that “The nuclear security regime in France is robust and well-established, and incorporates the fundamental principles of the amended CPPNM”. It also contains recommendations, suggestions and good practices applying both to the State and the operator ORANO.
The presentation aims at presenting the lessons learned from the 2018 IPPAS mission, from its preparation to the reception of the final report by the Ministry for an Ecological and Solidary Transition. The lessons learned cover different topics, including:
The selection of experts who came from different European countries,
The writing of the advanced information package sent to the experts before the mission,
The rehearsal of the mission,
The way different French stakeholders including ministries, authorities, technical support organization were involved in the preparation,
The type of information given to the experts to let them lead appropriately their mission (no classified information was necessary) and
The way the French authorities worked with the IPPAS team.
More broadly, the presentation deals with the French consideration on IPPAS missions and the different benefits its brings on a national and international scale. This presentation, among other things, aims to encourage countries, whose competent authorities in charge of the preparation have few human resources, to host them. It provides specific suggestions to adapt it to their needs and constraints.