Among the projects included in the TACIS 1991 Nuclear Safety Programme for the Russian Federation was a project to create two public information centres for nuclear energy in order to inform the public about the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and to provide proper understanding of its risks.
The project comprised two main lines:
Creation of a legal framework and institutional structure for public information activities, including a training programme for the staff of the proposed centres.
Design, organisation and operation of the information centres, including supply of required equipment.
Two centres were to be established; a central one at St Petersburg and a local one (local to a nuclear facility) at Balakovo near the nuclear power plant. The local centre was expected to be a model that could be used for the establishment of further centres, near other NPPs or nuclear facilities, by the Russian Federation.
The TACIS project was supposed to provide the design of the centres and also to provide equipment required to furnish the centres. The Beneficiary was required to provide a suitable venue and to ensure appropriate renovation and refurbishment of the buildings provided.
The contract was implemented by EdF in consortium with COGEMA (see contract 22243).
During the course of implementation of the abovementioned contract, it came to light that the Beneficiary did not have the financial means to fully complete the refurbishment of the buildings provided for the centre at St Petersburg due to the difficult economic climate existing at the time. In order not to stop the project, and to ensure that its objectives could be fully realised, the EC agreed to provide additional finance to support the completion of the renovation work on the St Petersburg Centre. The present contract was signed with EdF, who sub-contracted the local institute responsible for the information centres to manage the completion of the renovation work.