The responsibility for implementation of the TACIS programmes - and the follow-on programmes of the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) - lies with a Directorate General of the European Commission. Over time this has changed from DGIA through SCR and then DG AIDCO (EuropeAid Cooperation Office). In carrying out this responsibility, the regulations covering the implementation of the instruments allow for Community financing to cover expenditure associated with various kinds of assistance for the preparation, follow up, monitoring, auditing and evaluation activities directly necessary for the implementation of the programmes and the achievement of their objectives. This may include, for example, studies, meetings, information, awareness-raising, training and publication activities and any other administrative or technical assistance that the Commission may require for the management of the programmes.
Due to its status as a DG of the European Commission, DG-JRC is able to provide DG-AIDCO with scientific and technical advice in support of programme implementation that is completely independent and free from any commercial interests. This support is complementary to various other support mechanisms such as the on-site Consultants at NPPs, the Regulatory Authorities Management Group (RAMG), OSA Peer Group and dedicated support Consultants contracted by the Commission, all of which together provide the elements that allow programme and project preparation to proceed in a quick and effective manner, project tendering and contracting to be carried out efficiently and successfully and problems arising during project implementation to be managed and solved effectively.
In the framework of the TACIS 2001 programme, the Commission decided to continue and extend the services entrusted to DG JRC for the provision of professional support to the implementation of the TACIS and its follow-on (INSC) programmes. These services concerned the provision of expertise, know-how and other forms of technical assistance for the preparation and implementation of the nuclear safety activities, projects and programmes in the area of on-site assistance.
The objective of this contract was the provision of technical support to EC DG AIDCO for the preparation and implementation of projects in the area of On-Site Assistance. The contract was a direct follow-on to the contract 25940.
The specific tasks to be executed by JRC/IE under the present contract were dedicated to the supervision of the On-site Assistance in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and in particular in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The tasks were as follows:
Task 1: Developing / Reviewing Terms of Reference (ToR) and participation in the evaluation of the corresponding offers
The task consisted of developing and reviewing ToRs for On-Site Assistance contracts. This included contracts whereby EU utilities give technical assistance to utilities in beneficiary countries. Also, the task included the participation in tender evaluation committees for the open tenders for equipment supply when requested by AIDCO, and analysing the technical part of offers necessary to conclude direct agreements.
Task2: Review and Acceptance of the Technical Specifications
The task was to review Technical Specifications (TS) regarding the content (in line with the Project Description in the approved Annual Programme), conformity with EU regulations, technical consistency, clarity and neutrality. These Technical Specifications for specific equipment supply projects were prepared by the consultants contracted for the provision of on-site assistance to the different NPPs in the Beneficiary countries.
Additionally, it was necessary to review Evaluation Criteria corresponding to the TS. The Technical and Commercial Evaluation Criteria for evaluation of tenders were also prepared by the OSA Consultants.
Task 3: Review of Evaluation Reports
In all cases where JRC did not participate in the technical and financial evaluation of tenders, JRC was requested to review the corresponding tender evaluation reports, prepared by the evaluation committee, taking into account the respective technical and financial offers.
Task 4: Review and technical assessments of contractual technical reports of projects
This task involved the technical and scientific evaluation of deliverable reports produced by the OSA Consultants as part of the TACIS/INSC Nuclear Safety On-Site Assistance projects.
Task 5: Support to the implementation of “2 + 2” type projects
In the "2 + 2" approach, the OSA Consultant assists the beneficiary NPP in the implementation of safety improvements. In addition, he also provides support to the beneficiary for the licensing of the related modifications to the NPP.
In a separate contract, an EU Technical Safety Organization (TSOs) assists the beneficiary Regulatory Authority in performing the technical safety assessments of the proposed safety improvements.
In case of difficulties in the licensing process, JRC could be requested to provide technical assistance to DG AIDCO project managers to resolve difficulties and facilitate the progress of the projects.
Task 6: Participation to exploratory, follow-up or assessment missions to be conducted by AIDCO
Under this task it was envisaged that JRC could be requested by AIDCO to provide expertise to assist technically AIDCO task managers on their missions to the beneficiary countries for meetings with the local programme and project stakeholders.
Task7: Support to AIDCO in nuclear safety projects in Russia and Ukraine
This involved the provision of technical and scientific support to AIDCO for the project cycle management of projects with Russian and Ukrainian beneficiaries. This support involved expertise and know-how especially in the fields of on-site assistance.
In order to optimise participation of the beneficiary and to catalyse the pace of project implementation, the JRC was requested to involve the direct participation of visiting scientists from Russia and the Ukraine in the work to support DG AIDCO.
These visiting scientists were to be fully integrated in the existing team in Petten (NL) which was providing technical support in the implementation of nuclear safety projects and would work under the quality assurance regime of the JRC/IE.
The contract was signed on 11 February 2003, initially for a period of three years. It was extended by DG AIDCO and had a final duration of six years.
The work was performed in accordance with the above objectives, with the exception of Task 3. There were no requests to review tender evaluation reports because DG AIDCO took the decision early in the contract implementation period that JRC would systematically be requested to provide at least one, and often two experts to participate as voting members in all tender evaluation committees. In the end, the participation in a very large number of evaluation committees was one of the major tasks of the project, along with Task 2. Technical Specifications and corresponding Evaluation Criteria took a high priority, according to DG AIDCO needs, and were reviewed and endorsed in a timely manner, respecting the tender publication schedules set by DG AIDCO.
Two visiting scientists, one Russian and one Ukrainian, were recruited by the JRC. These scientists were chosen on scientific grounds as well as for their ability to facilitate and catalyse the implementation of nuclear safety projects in Russia and Ukraine, particularly in the areas of on-site assistance and design safety. They facilitated day-to-day communications between their national organisations and the EC while assisting in the JRC activities related to preparation of technical documentation for the tendering of TACIS/INSC projects.