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Nuclear Safety Cooperation


TACIS Region
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
€ 358,654.81
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1994
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

Design Safety



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Direct Agreement & AV DA


01/07/1994 - 01/11/1995



Project / Budget year


  • WW9103 Energy / 1991



The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine in April 1986 demonstrated the need for adequate radiation early warning systems that allow authorities to take appropriate and timely actions in the event of a major radiological accident.

In 1991 the National Governments of Belarus and Ukraine independently approached the European Commission seeking assistance in establishing new radiological early warning systems in these countries. The European Commission launched the Gamma-1 project under the TACIS Programme, which was implemented in three phases.

Phase 1 was the Feasibility Study, which was contracted to PA Consulting Group in October 1992 (contract 21725). The aim was to assess the feasibility of establishing the new early warning systems, reviewing technical functionality and organizational operation.

The Feasibility Study recommended the establishment of an extensive radiological early warning network known as the ‘Gamma-Curtain’ initially installed in Belarus and Ukraine but eventually being extended to other countries, spanning the Baltic to the Black Sea. The Gamma-Curtain vision would provide for radiological detection at Nuclear Power Plants, Population Centres and throughout broader National Networks. The system would provide for detection at priority NPPs in Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania and Russia and afford EU countries with early warning in the event of a major accident.

Phase 2 of the Gamma-1 project was the Technical Design Study for a Pilot Radiation Early Warning System for implementation within the republics of Belarus and Ukraine. The system comprised early warning systems around Rivne, Zaporizhya and Ignalina Power Stations (see Figure 1 in attached document) including Regional and Local Response Centres and full National Response Centres in Kiev and Minsk, as shown in Figure 2. The objectives were to prepare the detailed design of the system along with the Technical Specifications for procurement of the required equipment.

The Technical Design Study was implemented through two contracts, one with the main consultant, which was again PA Consulting Group (contract 22111), and the other with the Radiation Protection Institute of Ireland (RPII – contract 22126), which was contracted to provide an expert to PA Consulting to assist in the design of the pilot system.

Phase 3 of the project was the supply and on-site installation of the pilot system. This phase was implemented through three contracts. The first two contracts were placed again with PA Consulting Group (contract 22613) along with the same expert of the RPII (contract 22732), who together formed a Project and Technical Management Unit for the project implementation. The third contract was with SEMA Group (later Atos Origin – contract 22579) who acted as procurement agent for the European Commission, applying the EC procedures and performing contract negotiations, contracting and contract management. SEMA placed the contract for the equipment supply with Hörmann Systemtechnik.

The system provides for high density Gamma-dose rate monitoring systems around NPPs.
The Gamma-1 Network for Rivne power station (see Figure 1), comprises gamma-dose rate monitoring stations (27 around Rivne NPP, 11 around Zaporozhe NPP and 9 around Ignalina NPP), within1-30 km of the Power Plant. In addition, α/β Aerosol systems are provided for local population centres to afford especially sensitive, fast response detection. Gamma water sensors are employed for detection of waterborne releases. In addition the Gamma-1 system provides for 4 Mobile Response Vehicles, (MRVs) each able to deploy Sentinel Gamma-dose rate stations. These vehicles provide for tracking radiation plumes and as a basis for routine maintenance and background monitoring work. The MRVs will be deployed at NPPs and around National Centres. The networks at the NPPs are connected by radio link to Regional and Local Response Centres which communicate with National Centres in Kiev and Minsk.

The managers of the systems in each country were Glavhydromet the Committee for Hydrometrology (MINEERCOM) in Belarus and Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety (MEPNS) in Ukraine.


The aim of this project (contract 22613) was to provide a Project and Technical Management Unit to act as an adviser to the Procurement Agent (see contract 22579) and as a coordinator with the project Partner Institutions.
The following specific activities were included in the project:

  • Propose evaluation criteria and participate in technical evaluation committee of tenders;
  • Act as liaison for the supplier on technical implementation of the project and design of the system;
  • Select the Partner Institutions staff to be trained for system operation;
  • Identify and select organisations to be trained for system and equipment maintenance;
  • Define acceptance tests, plan the factory and site acceptance procedures;
  • Control and technically supervise the fabrication and the delivery conditions of the equipment.

The Consultant grouped the tasks into three phases:

  1. selection of the prime contractor, evaluation of the tenders and negotiation of the contract;
  2. general project monitoring and liaison with the Beneficiary;
  3. acceptance activities (provisional acceptance).

Two additional phases, essential to the success of the project, were anticipated to continue during the early stages of system operation:

  1. operation during the Guarantee period and Final Acceptance;
  2. operation under contractor maintenance.


The contract was signed in July 1994 and the work was completed in November 1996.
Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) and Integrated factory Acceptance Tests (IFAT) were performed in August 1995 and April 1996, respectively.
Site Acceptance Tests in Ukraine and Belarus, leading to signature of the Provisional Acceptance Certificates (PAC) were completed in September 1996.

The GAMMA-1 system as installed consists of the following components:


  • Minsk National Centre, comprising the Response Centre and Monitoring Centre, all housed at the Headquarters of Belgydromet, linked by 4-wire leased communication channel to Braslav Local Response Centre.
  • Braslav Local Response Centre (LRC), located in an incident room at Braslav Hospital, is staffed by 3 shifts, 24 hours a day.
  • 9 gamma-dose rate detectors (model IGS 421) plus an automatic weather station are located within 30 km of Ignalina NPP, which is 30 km from Braslav. All are connected to the LRC by radio links operating at 154 Mhz.
  • 2 response and support vehicles with 4 moveable "sentinel" monitoring stations plus ancillary monitoring equipment.
  • All processing centres use 90MHz Pentium based servers and workstations configured for maximum resilience and usability. Software is based on standard Microsoft packages (MSOffice, SQL Server) as well as specific applications.


  • Kiev National Centre, housed at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety (MEPNS) "Crisis Centre", alongside in-plant monitoring systems connected directly to the NPPs. This centre is linked by 4-wire leased lines to two Local Response Centres (LRCs), located in the regional capitals of Rivne and Zaporizhya, each providing 24 hour surveillance of the situation.
  • 11 gamma-dose rate detectors (model IGS 421) plus an automatic weather station are located within 30 km of Zaporizhya NPP, on the southern side of the Dniepr. All are connected to the LRC by radio links operating at 154 Mhz. This is transmitted the 80 km by a single long range repeater station, located high on a television transmitting mast.
  • Around of Rivne NPP, at ranges of 2-30 km, are located 27 gamma-dose rate detectors (model IGS 421) plus an automatic weather station. In addition, an alpha-beta aerosol detector is installed in central Kuznetsovsk at a high location facing Rivne NPP. A gamma water monitor is located in a special purpose building on the banks of the river Styr to monitor activity in the river. All stations are connected by radio links initially to a central polling station at Kuznetsovsk and then to the LRC in Rivne 100 km to the south via a long-range radio link.
  • A response and support vehicle with 2 moveable "sentinel" monitoring stations plus ancillary monitoring equipment is located at both Zaporizhya and Rivne Centres.

The main task, to act as an adviser of the procurement agent and as a coordinator between the beneficiaries, has been successfully carried out and operable pilot radiation early warning systems for the Republics of Belarus and Ukraine have been installed.

According to the Deputy Minister of MEPNS, National Manager of the project in Ukraine, and the Vice-Chairman of Glavhydromet, National Managers of the project in Belarus, Partner Institutions in both countries were very satisfied with the Contractor performance.

While two recipient countries were concerned, there were two project partners as well: Ministry for Environmental Protection and Nuclear Safety (MEPNS) in Ukraine and Ministry of EMERCOM in Belarus. The practical beneficiary in Belarus is Committee for Hydrometeorology (Glavhydromet) which is a part of EMERCOM.