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Nuclear Safety Cooperation

Review status Y2K Assess.-CIS NPP Sites

TACIS Region
Benefitting Zone
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
€ 144,453.41
EU Contribution
Contracted in 1999
Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States




Contracting authority

European Commission

Method of Procurement

Direct Agreement & AV DA


17/08/1999 - 17/02/2000



Project / Budget year

WW9817 Nuclear Safety 1998 / 1998


The 'Year 2000' or Y2K problem had the potential of causing malfunctions in the operation of computer systems, microprocessor-based control systems and software or databases relied upon at nuclear power plants and so was a serious potential nuclear safety issue.
The problem could potentially affect software that uses a two-digit date field to represent the year. Computer algorithms in such software could associate "00" to the year 1900 instead of the year 2000. Other algorithms might not correctly recognise the year 2000 as a leap year and risk failure on February 29, 2000 or December 31, 2000 (day 366). These problems could result in the inability of computer systems to function properly or failure to operate at all, having potential impact on nuclear installation safety. The Y2K problem had a fixed deadline and required priority attention due to the technical challenges and limited time remaining for corrective actions and contingency planning.
Reviews of the susceptibility of Soviet-designed reactors to Y2K problems revealed that the ex-Soviet countries lacked the expertise and financial resources to conduct detailed, systematic evaluation.
Y2K measures and their implementation had been discussed at the meeting of the WANO PC-MC Advisory Group (see Contract 25458) in Moscow in May 1999. At that meeting, a selected number of eastern European and CIS plants requested an independent review of their Y2K status. The present contract was launched to perform this review at the designated plants in Russia and Ukraine.
In addition, the EC was also including a number of Y2K related activities in its On-Site Assistance programmes to the nuclear power plants in Russia, Ukraine and Armenia.


Main aim of the Project was to assess the status of Y2K readiness at several nuclear power plants in Russia and Ukraine. The work was divided into 5 tasks:
Task 1: Review preparation of Y2K activities
The Contractor was responsible for the following activities under Task 1:

Set-up of the Contractor's team and meeting with IAEA representatives for ensuring coherence of approach with the IAEA Y2K methodology.
Meeting with the EC representatives agree the work to be done and to be informed of the scope of the work included within the frame of the On-Site Assistance contracts at the different NPPs, which included Y2K related actions.
Pre-review meeting with WANO PC.
Development of the strategy for the exchange of information and feedback of experience as soon as the first steps to tackle the Y2K issue were completed at the designated NPPs.
Set-up of the work plan of the project including the share of work between the team members, organisation and scheduling of the NPP visits.
Task 2: Definition of scope of work to be done
For each designated NPP site, the Contractor was required to perform a site visit. The required scope of each visit was based on the latest version of the related WANO "Performance Objectives and Criteria" and included the following:

Interview with NPP management and responsible personnel regarding the Y2K programme and its schedule.
Assessment of staff resource needs/allocation.
Status of the implementation of the Y2K activities, namely:
detailed assessment of the whole programme of work for dealing with the Y2K issue,
assessment of the amount (%) of corrective measures already implemented
assessment of the contingency planning measures.
The focus was on the contingency planning, with due consideration to both internal aspects (safety and availability of the plant) and external aspects (grid availability).
Task 3: Site specific report development (one per site)
The purpose of the site-specific reports was to:

present the results of the reviews to the NPP and the Utility HQ
document strengths that may be emulated at other NPPs
define areas for improvement; propose improvement measures.
The Contractor was required to facilitate the feedback of experience within the designated NPPs by prompt dissemination of comprehensive information and reports to all concerned NPPs.
Task 4: Follow-up visit to one site
A follow-up visit to one of the NPP sites by the Contractor's team was required some months after the first visit in order to perform a final assessment on the status of the improvements. The purpose of the visit was to:

assess the status of the improvements proposed under Task 3;
define the necessary post-Y2K follow-up actions (actions to be performed after 1.1.2000)
report the results of the visit in a follow-up visit report.
Task 5: Presentation of the reports
The Contractor was required to present the final site specific reports at WANO-PC to all concerned parties, namely WANO PC, WANO MC and the management of concerned Utilities' HQ and NPPs, with the aim of extensive dissemination of the results.


The contract was signed in August 1999. The Contractor was WANO PC (Paris Centre).
The Contractor nominated two teams, each composed of three experts, two experts from the EU, and one expert nominated by the beneficiary countries, i.e. one from Russia and one from Ukraine.