The Constitutional Council on Friday rejected the appeal of left-wing parliamentarians and independents from Liot against the merger of the nuclear policeman, ASN, with the technical expert in the sector, IRSN, considering that it did not contravene in itself to the Environmental Charter. A government bill adopted in Parliament at the beginning of April provides for the creation in 2025 of a Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection Authority (ASNR), resulting from the merger of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) and the Radiation Protection Institute and nuclear safety (IRSN), which employ approximately 530 and 1,740 agents respectively.

The government believes that the end of a dual system will make it possible to “fluidify” the sector by reducing the time required for expertise and authorization of installations. Opponents of the text were, on the contrary, worried about a possible loss of independence of experts and opacity in the decision-making process. In the wake of the adoption, the four left-wing groups of the National Assembly and the independents of Liot had referred the matter to the Constitutional Council. They believed that the merger of the two bodies, and the bringing together of two categories of skills called into question the organization of France’s historic dual system, and its “deterministic approach” to nuclear safety, which made it possible to respect the imperative constitutional protection enshrined in the Environmental Charter.

An argument which did not convince the Council. In a decision rendered on Friday, he considers that the provisions of the law “have neither the aim nor the effect of modifying the obligations to which civil nuclear activities are subject, for which this authority (the future ASNR) is responsible for monitoring compliance” . The Council also underlines in its argument that the law provides that “a distinction must be made” between the personnel responsible for the expertise and those responsible for a decision, when this new authority requests an expertise for a decision concerning a nuclear installation. . The IRSN inter-union asked the government at the end of April for the “emergency” appointment of a “neutral” personality to manage the merger with the nuclear safety authority.