Skip to main content
Nuclear Safety Cooperation

R1.05/03 On-Site Assistance Large Scale Project at Smolensk NPP, Russia

  • Closed
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe / North Asia
€ 2,910,912.00
EU Contribution
Contracted in 2006
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States


Type of activity

On Site Assistance



Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

(FR2007) Competitive Dialogue - Art. 125b IR


24/05/2006 - 24/07/2009





Project / Budget year

TACIS 2003 - Nuclear Safety Action Programme / 2003


Smolensk NPP (SmNPP), located in the Smolensk region of Russia, comprises 3 power units. The site lies 3 km away from the nearby town of Desnogorsk on the bank of an artificial lake situated on the river Desna. Unit 1 was commissioned in 1982, Unit 2 in 1985 and Unit 3 in 1990. All three units have reactors of the RBMK-1000 type and were still in operation at the time of this contract.

This project formed part of a co-ordinated programme of On Site Assistance to a number of Nuclear Power Plants located in Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Kazakhstan funded through the TACIS Programme. The On-Site Assistance (OSA) programmes were a corner stone of the TACIS nuclear safety co-operation with these countries. Companies or consortia with experience of NPP operation in the European Union (EU) were contracted by the European Commission (EC) to work on site at nuclear power plants of the Beneficiary country. The aims were to provide the transfer of know-how and soft skills, in particular through 'soft' assistance, which addresses the human element of safety (i.e. safety culture, quality assurance, maintenance, management and training,…), and to upgrade the safety of the plant through the supply of equipment ('hard' assistance). In many cases the soft assistance was directly related to the equipment being provided through the hardware supply projects. Through the TACIS programme, OSA projects were implemented at seven NPPs in Russia (Kola, Balakovo, Kalinin, Leningrad, Smolensk, Beloyarsk and Novovoronezh).

At Smolensk Nuclear Power Plant, the On Site Assistance activity had been active since 1994, the first project being programmed in the TACIS 1992 Nuclear Safety Programme. In this period a number of equipment projects had been undertaken and some activities associated with these were still ongoing. They had been managed under the TACIS 2000 OSA projects at Smolensk NPP (Contracts 34226 and 68685) which had now reached completion.


This contract provided both 'soft' and 'hard' assistance projects, as defined above. The specific objectives in the two areas are given in the following.

Soft On-Site Assistance

Safety Culture

The work involved the transfer of approaches, methodologies and tools for the assessment of safety culture and the identification and implementation of the necessary actions for enhancing safety culture at the NPP. Appropriate training was to be included.

The outcome of this activity would be such that the NPP would be able to develop and implement a Safety Culture Improvement Plan, and to define a Monitoring System, including internationally recognized indicators, for monitoring the Safety Culture improvements. The Consultant was required to provide assistance in the application of these methodologies and tools at SmNPP.

Management of Organizational Change

The objective was to develop a system to ensure that all risks and impacts on nuclear safety are taken into account by the NPP management in the implementation of Organizational Changes.

Human Factors/Performance.

The objective was to implement a programme for human performance assessment and human error prevention in the operation of SmNPP. The Consultant was required to assist the End User through the transfer of methodologies, tools/software and related training.

Radioactive waste management

As described under the Hard On-Site Assistance activities (below), a new Radwaste Treatment Facility was under construction at SmNPP. In preparation for the start-up of this facility, the Consultant was required to deliver training and assistance in the development of soft skills at SmNPP in the field of radioactive waste management. Where appropriate, training of SmNPP trainers was to be the preferred method of ensuring sustainability. The whole process from the generation to disposal of the waste was to be taken into consideration. The activities also included the transfer of experience in the management and safe operation of radwaste treatment facilities.

Living Probabilistic Safety Assessment (PSA) and its application

SmNPP had already deployed a PSA Level 1 methodology and PSA Level 2 was currently in preparation. The Consultant was required to provide methodologies and software for maintaining the PSA fully up to date and for risk assessment using the PSA, and was also required to deliver appropriate training to SmNPP personnel. These methodologies should be adapted, if necessary, and implemented on a pilot unit of SmNPP with the assistance of the Consultant.

Quality Assurance and Quality Management

The Consultant was required to provide soft assistance in the area of Quality Assurance and Quality Management both for plant operations, outage management and for operation of the Radwaste Process at SmNPP.

Hard On-Site Assistance

Implementation of the Plant Improvement Project (PIP) [also referred to as 'Large-Scale Project']

The PIP purpose is the supply of equipment for the new Radwaste Treatment Facility (RTF) that was being constructed by SmNPP to replace the existing facility. The new facility would enhance the methods by which solid radwastes are handled at site. Wastes will be sorted and characterised before being processed in facilities for incineration, compaction, smelting (at a later stage) and storage in an environmentally acceptable form.

The Radwaste Treatment Facility will be used for acceptance, sorting and processing of the liquid and solid radioactive waste generated during the operation, maintenance and decommissioning of the NPP. It will also be used for interim storage of the waste. The processing of radwaste results in a reduction of the volume of waste and the waste is processed in such a way that it can be stored, transported and disposed of in a safe way.

The TACIS equipment supplies are associated with waste analysis equipment for characterisation purposes, Control and Instrumentation (C&I) equipment for the cementation process (grouting lines), selected specific process components of the grouting lines, equipment for analysis of the incinerator off-gases and supercompaction equipment for waste reduction. The equipment was divided into 4 lots:

  • Lot 1: Supply of a Supercompactor and Associated Equipment.
  • Lot 2: Equipment for Monitoring and Analysis (Radiochemical Laboratory Equipment + On-line Gas Analyser for the Incinerator off-gas duct).
  • Lot 3: Automatic Control and Monitoring System of the Grouting Units (Control and Instrumentation (C&I) Equipment).
  • Lot 4: Process Control Equipment.

The TACIS supplies represent approximately 10% of the financial value of the total RTF project.

Implementation of other TACIS equipment supply projects

A number of specific equipment supply projects had been launched under previous OSA contracts at Smolensk NPP and were still ongoing. The consultant was required to bring them to a successful conclusion.

The following supply contracts had been launched and the projects were at various stages of completion:

  • R1.05/94A Provision of Automated NDT Equipment
  • R1.05/95A Equipment for Leak Before Break Installation
  • R1.05/96B2 Blind test specimens for project R1.05/94A
  • R1.05/97A Replacement Safety Related Batteries

The work to be performed by the consultant was the supervision and follow-up of the equipment supply up to the final acceptance.

In addition, the following supply contract had been reprogrammed under the TACIS Annual Programme 2003 and was to be tendered at the beginning of the present contract implementation period:

  • R1.05/03A (ex-97B) Emergency communication system

The work to be performed by the consultant was the follow-up of the tender procedure and follow-up of the equipment supply up to the final acceptance.


Soft On-Site Assistance

The soft assistance activities were implemented in accordance with the requirements through:

  • Study tours to UK and Finnish NPPs,
  • Workshops,
  • Preparation of training materials and implementation of training courses,
  • Joint Consultant/SmNPP work on benchmarking of Russian approaches with western organisations, identification of improvement areas and development of enhancement programmes,
  • Performance of self-assessments by SmNPP using procedures developed by the Consultant,
  • Development of QA procedures, standards and other documentation

Hard On-Site Assistance

Implementation of the Plant Improvement Project (PIP) [also referred to as 'Large-Scale Project']

The first call for tender for the four lots of the PIP was launched by the EC in July 2006. The tender evaluation was performed in September/October 2006. However, no technically and financially compliant bids were received and the tender procedure was cancelled.

A number of improvements and clarifications were made to the Technical Specifications and in January 2007 a new call for tender was launched. The tender evaluation was performed in March/April 2007 and successful bids were found for all four lots. Contracts were signed in August 2007 (see contracts 99577, 140193, 140194, 140196 for details of the equipment supply projects, Lots 1 -4 respectively).

Tendering, contracting and initial implementation follow-up were performed by the Consultant as per the contract, but the equipment supply contracts were not completed by the time of the end of the present contract. The EC therefore raised a follow-on contract (see contract 219321) in order to maintain the on-site follow-up of the implementation of these important equipment supply projects. The status of the projects at the expiration of the present contract was as follows:

  • Lot 1 - Supercompactor: Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) completed; delivery awaited.
  • Lot 2 - Equipment for Monitoring and Analysis: Equipment delivered, awaiting installation.
  • Lot 3 - Automatic Control and Monitoring System: Equipment in manufacture; FAT planned.
  • Lot 4 - Process Control Equipment: FAT completed; awaiting delivery.

Implementation of other TACIS equipment supply projects

The status of the other ongoing TACIS equipment supply projects at the expiration of the present contract was as follows:

  • R1.05/03A (ex-97B) Emergency communication system: First call for tender launched in April 2006 was unsuccessful. The call for tender was relaunched in July 2006 and successfully led to a contract signed in November 2006. The FAT was completed in June 2008 in Moscow. The equipment was delivered and installed between August and December 2008. Site Acceptance Testing (SAT) took place in January 2009. A failed microphone was detected during SAT. This was rectified and final SAT completed in June 2009 followed by signature of the Provisional Acceptance Certificate (PAC). The equipment is under warranty.
  • R1.05/94A Provision of Automated NDT Equipment: The Site Acceptance Test for this equipment was completed during February 2007. The warranty period has been completed with no further actions necessary.
  • R1.05/95A Equipment for Leak Before Break Installation: The Site Acceptance Test for this equipment and the warranty period has been completed. Further acceptance testing was undertaken for the monitoring system and other outstanding issues during the warranty period and the Final Acceptance Certificate has been issued on the equipment.
  • R1.05/96B2 Blind test specimens for project R1.05/94A: This project is completed with delivery of the spare parts in December 2006.
  • R1.05/97A Replacement Safety Related Batteries: The warranty period for the Replacement Batteries expired at the end of June 2006 and the Final Acceptance Certificate was issued.