The regulatory framework
The decision to set up the National Network was taken in 2003 as part of the transposition of Euratom directives 96/29 (Basic Safety Standards for Health Protection of the Population and Workers against Ionizing Radiation) and 2003/4/CE (Public access to environmental information).
Decision n°2008-DC-0099 ratified by the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) on 29 April 2008 (repealing the original decree of 17 October 2003), adopted pursuant to the Public Health Code and amended by Decision n° 2015-DC-0500 of the French Nuclear Safety Authority of 26 February 2015, defines the national network organization, lays down the approval procedures and the qualification requirements which must be met by the laboratories in order to be certified.
THE EUROPEAN FRAMEWORK
- Euratom Directive 96/29 of 13 May 1996 on basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation
The National Network creation originates from several articles of the Euratom Directive 96/29, in particular Articles 43 to 47 relative to the implementation of radiological protection for the population.
- Directive 2003/4/CE of January, the 28th 2003 on public access to environmental information
In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of Directive 2003/4/CE, the National Network collects and releases to the public, information on the radiological status of the various environmental compartments held by public authorities. In order to satisfy the quality objective of the environmental information published in accordance with Article 8 of the Directive, a laboratory accreditation system has been set up at the French level.
Article R.1333-25 of the Public Health Code defines this laboratories accreditation for the environmental radioactivity measurement and the Decision n° 2008-DC-0099 ratified April, the 29th 2008 by the ASN (amended by the Decision n° 2015-DC-0500 of the ASN on February, the 26th 2015 and by the Decision n° 2018-DC-0648 on October, the 16th 2018), specifies the practical arrangements.
- Euratom Directive 2013/59 of December, the 5th 2013 on basic standards for health protection against dangers arising from exposure to ionizing radiation
This Directive incorporates Euratom Directive 96/29 of May, the 13th 1996 and includes the dose due to nuclear practices estimated by the competent authority. To comply with this directive, the radiological assessment, drawn up every three years by the IRSN, is published on the RNM website.
This Directive is currently being transposed into national law (amendments to the Public Health Code, the Environmental Code and the Labor Code).
TEXTS RELATIVE TO THE GENERAL ORGANIZATION
- Law No. 2006-686 of June, the 13th 2006 on transparency and security in the nuclear field (so-called "TSN Act")
In accordance with the provisions introduced by the TSN Act, now codified in the Environmental Code, the issuance, renewal, refusal, suspension or withdrawal of laboratories certifications for measuring environmental radioactivity are left to the ASN to decide, then corresponding decisions are published in the ASN’s official bulletin, accessible on its website www.asn.fr.
- The provisions of the Public Health Code
As part of the transposition into French law of the Euratom Directive 2013/59, the Public Health Code was amended by Decree n° 2018-434 of June, the 4th 2018 relative to miscellaneous provisions in nuclear matter. Article R. 1333-25 defines the objectives of the National Network and specifies which measurements of environmental radioactivity the public can access via this website. Finally, this article entrusts the ASN with the responsibility of setting the orientations for this network, while the IRSN is in charge of managing it.
Article R. 1333-26 refers to the process of laboratories accreditation, since only laboratories certified by the ASN, including the IRSN, are authorized to release environmental radioactivity measurements results on the National Network.
- Decision n°2008-DC-0099 of the Nuclear Safety Authority of April, the 29th 2008 relative to the national network organization for measuring environmental radioactivity, laying down the certification procedures for the laboratories
ASN’s Decision n° 2008-DC-0099 dated April, the 29th 2008 relative to the national network organization for the measuring environmental radioactivity, laying down the certification procedures for the laboratories, was adopted pursuant to Article R .1333-11 of the Public Health Code and was ratified by the Minister of Health by ministerial decree dated 8 July 2008 published in the Official Journal on 9 August 2008. This decision replaces the provisions of the Ministerial Order dated 17 October 2003 which has created the National Network.
ASN’s Decision n° 2015-DC-0500 dated February the 26th 2015, ratified by Ministerial Decree of June, the 3rd 2015, has updated the provisions of ASN’s Decision No. 2008-DC-0099 dated 29 April 2008, in particular by introducing a new certification type which allows feeding into the National Network, the radioactivity measurement results of foodstuffs carried out by the network laboratories of the Directorate General on Food Safety (DGAL) and the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Rights and Protection against Fraud (DGCCRF).
This decision defines:
- the National Network organization: ASN is responsible for setting its guidelines, taking into account the opinion issued by a multilateral steering committee, while the IRSN is in charge of defining the methods for collecting measurement data, developing and managing the internet mapping portal where information on environmental radioactivity is released ;
- the certification methods and the qualification requirements that must be met by laboratories to be accredited, a prerequisite before being authorized to supply the National Network. The certifications are issued by the ASN on an accreditation commission’s proposal ;
- the procedures to follow for feeding the measurement results from the certified laboratories into the National Network.
This decision takes into account the ASN’s prerogatives introduced by the TSN Act and the provisions as per Article R.1333-25 and Article R.1333-26 of the Public Health Code. It also incorporates ASN's experience feedback on the laboratory accreditation process since 2003.
ASN’s Decision n° 2018-DC-0648, dated October, the 16th 2018, has introduced a new agreement type for measurement of 222 radon in water.