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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Administrative arrangement

Status
Closed
All Countries
Benefitting Zone
Worldwide
€ 1,295,308.50
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1998
TACIS
Programme
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States

Details

Type of activity

Safeguards

Nature

Services

Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Direct Agreement & AV DA

Duration

18/12/1998 - 18/08/2002

Partner

MINATOM RF, later ROSATOM (since 12/2007)

Contractor

JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE

Project / Budget year

WW9608 Nuclear Safety 1996 / 1996

Background

Project R5.01/96: Establishment of the Russian Methodology and Training Centre (RMTC), Phase 4

This project was the continuation of the projects R5.01/94 (see contracts 23425 and 23498) and R5.01/95 (contract 24798). It was the fourth phase of a larger TACIS project that aimed to “Establish the Russian Methodology and Training Centre (RMTC)” at the Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE), in Obninsk, to provide educational, training and technology transfer in the area of Nuclear Material Accountancy and Control (NMAC) for the major part of the Russian fuel cycle.

The tasks of the RMTC were the following:

  • Education, training and technology transfer
  • Development and testing of methods
  • Calibration of instruments and test of procedures
  • Traceability of field measurements to primary standards

Project R5.03/96: Production strategy of instrumentation for accounting and control of nuclear materials, Phase 2

This project was the continuation of the project R5.03/95 (see contract 24798). It was aimed at enabling the Russian industry to produce the instrumentation necessary for the SSAC of Nuclear Materials. To this end the project was aimed at establishing a Masterplan, the key advisory document on a Russian industrial production of NMAC instruments in order to create the logistics, technical know-how, infrastructures and technical conditions, for manufacturing NMAC instrumentation by Russian companies in collaboration with EU companies. As a pilot, the project included the design and construction, through a separate TACIS supply contract, of two prototype neutron instruments.

At the time of the project implementation, the supervisory management of the major part of the nuclear facilities came under the Ministry of Atomic Energy of the Russian Federation (MINATOM). In this context MINATOM assigned to the All Russia Research Institute of Automatics (Russian VNIIA), the role of monitoring the suitability and quality of instrumentation procured for NMA&C in the Russian Federation. A part of the work of this project was performed by VNIIA under subcontract from the Contractor.

The project was followed by the project R5.01/97 (see contract 26512).

Objectives

Project R5.01/96: Establishment of the Russian Methodology and Training Centre (RMTC), Phase 4

The specific objectives of this phase of the project were:

  • to continue to provide instruments, methodologies, fissile material standards, appropriate laboratory and training facilities to the RMTC, as detailed in the previous phase study (Project R5.01/94, contracts 23425 and 23498), such that calibration and training activities could be carried out by Russian Federation staff autonomously.
  • to provide suitable training to future Russian trainers, to take over the training activities.
  • This phase of the project for the establishment of the Russian Methodology and Training Centre (RMTC) comprised three sub-activities:

1. Procurement of fissile material standards (RMTC reference materials):

  • 1 VVER-440 mini fuel assembly and certification report,
  • 1 RBMK mini fuel assembly and certification report,
  • 1 BN mini fuel assembly and certification report,
  • 2 sets of International U3O8 standard (JRC-IRMM primary standards, certified by JRC-IRMM and the US National Bureau of Standards)
  • Reference materials for densitometry (radioactive sources and uranium/plutonium solution samples),
  • The mini fuel assemblies were procured through a subcontract to IPPE.

2. Training tools and seminars:

  • 4 training courses (at Obninsk/JRC-Ispra), including course manuals and materials,
  • 1 international seminar at Obninsk, including publication of proceedings;
  • Part of the work was performed through a subcontract to IPPE.

3. Project technical coordination and monitoring:

  • Coordination of the overall RMTC project,
  • Supply project R5.01/96A (Provision of one segmented gamma spectrometer uranium waste drum monitor and one calorimeter system for plutonium quantity measurements): preparation of procurement technical specifications for equipment tender, bid evaluation, equipment supply follow-up, test and technical reception, reception tests report,
  • JRC special equipment / software, e.g. software for calorimetry, software for waste assay, spent fuel attribute tester (gamma taucher) of JRC design and related software, etc.,

For information on the separate equipment supply contracts see R5.01/96A (2 separate contracts).

Project R5.03/96: Production strategy of instrumentation for accounting and control of nuclear materials, Phase 2

The overall objective of the project (and indeed of the comprehensive programme of projects) was to contribute to the creation of the logistics, technical know-how, infrastructures and technical conditions to allow the Russian industry to produce the instrumentation necessary for the Nuclear Material Accountancy and Control (NMAC) system in the Russian Federation, and to consider the value of joint manufacturing / collaboration with EU industry.

The specific objectives of the comprehensive programme were to:

  • Evaluate instrumentation needs throughout the Russian fuel cycle;
  • Review available Russian and foreign instrumentation;
  • Recommend development priorities and define manufacturing specifications (for the present contract: two prototype active / passive neutron measurement devices);
  • Recommend infrastructure for measurement quality control;
  • Analyse factors affecting potential collaboration with EU industry.

Additional specific objectives of the present contract were to:

  • Issue the first draft of the Masterplan document to be submitted to the Russian government and industrial authorities;
    • Identification of instrumentation (upgrade) needs;
    • Review of measurement approaches used in comparable EU facilities;
    • Review of available commercial instrumentation, in particular of EU origin;
    • Identification of instrumentation priorities and development of manufacturing specifications;
    • Guidelines for quality control infrastructures, covering manufacturing and measurement control facilities, and instrument documentation and certification;
    • Instrument types which could be the object of development of prototypes and mini-series;
    • Information treatment requirements for NMAC implementation, as emerging from Russian regulatory objectives;
    • Factors affecting collaboration with EU industry;
    • Suggestions to improve NMAC implementation approach, in order to meet Russian regulatory requirements.
  • Perform a comparative study of Russian and French regulations on NMAC and joint analysis of NMAC systems in a fuel fabrication facility in Russia (Electrostal) and France (Romans) (prepared under subcontract with IPSN, France):
    • Detailed description of the French national system of accountancy;
    • General study of French and Russian regulations on NMAC;
    • Study of accounting, control and instrumentation needs of two similar (fuel fabrication) facilities, one in Russia and one in France, chosen in agreement by the Russian and French authorities.
  • Design and procure (under TACIS project R5.03/96C, in collaboration with the PA), two neutron instrument prototypes, i.e. active and passive interrogation devices:
    • Assessment of detailed characteristics needed for the Russian fuel cycle conditions;
    • Development of the detailed technical specifications for the tender for procurement of the devices (under TACIS project R5.03/96C);
    • Technical and financial evaluation of the offers for the mini-series;
    • Follow-up of the supply contract(s)
    • Development of testing procedure for evaluation of the prototypes;
    • Execution of the test procedure for the prototype devices;
    • Assessment and interpretation of the test results.

Regarding the instrument prototypes to be designed, and procured through the separate TACIS project R5.03/96C, two types of instrument were envisaged. The first type of instrument was to be an active interrogation system using a pulsed neutron generator for measurement of 235U and/or 239Pu in standard 220 litre waste drums containing waste material of a non-homogeneous nature with possibly low to medium amounts of nuclear material. The instrument would be suitable for measuring during activities of both accountancy and verification of accountancy. (Note that the procurement of two further similar instruments was subsequently included under the TACIS 1997 programme – see R5.01/97C-S [contract 26512]. The three instruments together were intended to be delivered to three different facilities in the towns of Zhelesnogorsk [Mining and Chemical Combine] in the East Siberian region, Seversk [Siberian Chemical Combine] in the Central Siberian region and Ozersk [Mayak] in the Ural region. The tendering of the three instruments, as well as the passive neutron instrument described below, was combined into one single tender procedure.)

The second type of instrument was to be a passive neutron instrument for bulk PuO2 powder cans. The instrument would be suitable for measuring during activities of both accountancy and verification of accountancy.

Results

Project R5.01/96: Establishment of the Russian Methodology and Training Centre (RMTC), Phase 4

Similarly to the previous phases of this project, the activities foreseen in the contract ToR were successfully carried out and the deliverables were all provided, but there were significant delays mainly due to the long time required to establish the related equipment supply contracts and long delays related to customs clearance, especially for the reference materials, at the Russian border. As with the previous phases, the Contractor continued to provide the necessary support to achieve the planned project results, after the expiry of the contract.

The equipment, worth € 784,847.00 in total, was finally delivered to the Beneficiary, installed and put into operation. For further information on the equipment supply contracts, see R5.01/96A (2 separate contracts).

For the next phase of the project see follow-on project R5.01/97 (contract 26512).

Project R5.03/96: Production strategy of instrumentation for accounting and control of nuclear materials, Phase 2

One of the main results of the project was the preparation and issue of the first draft of the Masterplan. The Masterplan was a “comprehensive programme” on the technical requirements for a successful production strategy for instrumentation appropriate to the needs of the Russian State System of Accounting and Control (SSAC). The Masterplan provided advice to Minatom/ Russian government on this subject.

Apart from addressing the technological and operational aspects, the Masterplan provided a ten-year development policy for the production in Russia of instrumentation equipment. The following contributions to the Masterplan were provided by VNIIA:

  • December 1999: reports on the identification of instrumentation needs, the review of commercially available instruments, and production priorities.
  • December 1999: reports on the review of regulatory and institutional requirements, manufacturing quality control, criteria for evaluation of the co-operation with EU industry for joint production, and on the structure of the Masterplan.
  • The Draft Masterplan was presented to Minatom in December 2001.

With regard to the equipment supply project R5.03/96C (combined with project R5.01/97C-S, see above), for the supply of three active and one passive neutron instrument prototypes, the technical specifications were prepared, the call for tender was launched and the tenders were evaluated. However, the successful tenderer subsequently declined to sign the supply contract and the equipment could not be purchased. The EC decided to cancel the tender procedure and it was not relaunched.

For the next phase of the project see follow-on project R5.01/97 (contract 26512).