„Transparency” is an obligation in France when it comes to nuclear installations. In 2006, a law was passed to ensure, among other things, the rights of citizens to access dependable information on issues related to nuclear activities.
The 2006 law on Transparence et sécurité nucléaire (TSN) significantly extended the role of the Local Commissions for Information (CLI), the citizens watchdog groups that were established in 1981. It enabled the CLIs to request from nuclear installations any documents deemed pertinent, or call on independent laboratories to proceed with environmental and health investigations.
As is the rule for every nuclear installation in France, a CLI was established four years ago to monitor ITER activities. Its members (representatives from local government, environmental groups, trade unions, businesses and health professionals) have been closely associated with the progress of the Project.
Senior management from ITER visits the CLI at general assemblies and other scheduled meetings to present updates and provide clarification on any questions the CLI members may have.
On 24 October, for the first time in the PACA region, two CLI members participated in an inspection of the ITER worksite carried out by the French nuclear safety authority (Agence de sûreté nucléaire, ASN).
The event was considered significant enough for the ITER CLI to issue a press release, acknowledging the ITER Organization’s „policy of openness and transparency” and a „spirit of collaboration” that had already been noted in 2011 on the occasion of the licensing process submitted to Public Enquiry.
„The presence of CLI observers at an inspection,” reads the press release, „confirms [ITER’s] policy of transparency toward the CLI and, in a larger sense, toward the inhabitants of the [PACA] region.”
Read the CLI press release (in French) here