The responsibility for implementation of the TACIS programmes - and the follow-on programmes of the Instrument for Nuclear Safety Cooperation (INSC) - lies with a Directorate General of the European Commission. Over time this has changed from DGIA through SCR and then DG AIDCO (EuropeAid Cooperation Office). In carrying out this responsibility, the regulations covering the implementation of the instruments allow for Community financing to cover expenditure associated with various kinds of assistance for the preparation, follow up, monitoring, auditing and evaluation activities directly necessary for the implementation of the programmes and the achievement of their objectives. This may include, for example, studies, meetings, information, awareness-raising, training and publication activities and any other administrative or technical assistance that the Commission may require for the management of the programmes.
Due to its status as a DG of the European Commission, DG-JRC is able to provide DG-AIDCO with scientific and technical advice in support of programme implementation that is completely independent and free from any commercial interests. This support is complementary to various other support mechanisms such as the on-site Consultants at NPPs, the Regulatory Authorities Management Group (RAMG), OSA Peer Group and dedicated support Consultants contracted by the Commission, all of which together provide the elements that allow programme and project preparation to proceed in a quick and effective manner, project tendering and contracting to be carried out efficiently and successfully and problems arising during project implementation to be managed and solved effectively.
In the framework of the TACIS 2000 programme, the Commission decided to entrust DG JRC with the provision of further services for professional support to the implementation of the TACIS programmes. These services concerned the provision of expertise, know-how and other forms of technical assistance for the preparation and implementation of the activities, projects and programmes in the sectors of nuclear regulatory assistance, design safety, off-site emergency preparedness, radioactive waste management and decommissioning.
The objective of this contract was the provision of technical support to DG AIDCO for the implementation of the TACIS Nuclear Safety programme in the areas of nuclear regulatory assistance, design safety, off-site emergency preparedness, radioactive waste management and decommissioning.
This support involved the following activities:
- Drafting / reviewing Terms of Reference (ToR) and participation in the evaluation of offers
This consisted of drafting or reviewing ToRs, evaluation of offer(s) and participation in tender evaluation committees when requested by AIDCO.
For regulatory assistance TSO projects, where contracts were established on the basis of a direct agreement, the task was limited to a critical and independent review of the ToR and offer, provision of technical advice to AIDCO and proposals for amendments.
- Review and technical assessment of contractual technical reports of projects
The JRC was to provide AIDCO with technical and scientific evaluation of reports produced during the execution of the TACIS projects.
This involved the review of task reports and final reports of the projects, by request of AIDCO, and provision of comments and proposals.
- Support to the implementation of “2 + 2” type projects, both Safety Authority and TSO projects
The majority of regulatory assistance projects at the time supported the safety authority in the licensing of TACIS-funded on-site assistance projects. In these so-called "2+2" projects, the on-site EU utility assists the NPP in the implementation of safety improvements, preparing the technical specifications, supporting the NPP in the licensing process, responsible for the equipment procurement and taking part in the fabrication and installation follow-up, in addition to the commissioning of the equipment. The EU TSOs assist the regulatory authority in performing the technical safety evaluations of the proposed safety improvements.
JRC, in the framework of contract 25940, was already playing an important role in supporting the implementation of OSA projects and the network of contacts established in this frame suggested that the JRC could provide significant support to AIDCO also in the area of support to the regulator/TSO.
The JRC was expected to assist AIDCO in providing up-to-date information on any development of relevance concerning those OSA projects receiving licensing support. In problematic cases and on request by AIDCO, the JRC should trace the state of development of licensing related documents to be produced by NPPs and design institutes.
- Participation to exploratory or follow-up missions to be conducted by AIDCO
Under this task it was envisaged that JRC could be requested by AIDCO to provide expertise to assist technically AIDCO task managers on their missions to the beneficiary countries for meetings with the local programme and project stakeholders.
- Participation to the dissemination of the project results
JRC was required to summarise the objectives and achievements of completed projects in a form suitable for publication on the dissemination Web site hosted by JRC.
The contract was signed on 18 March 2002, initially for a period of 3 years. During this 3 year period it was extended by DG AIDCO and had a final duration of just over 4.5 years. It was completed on 30 September 2006.
The work was performed in accordance with the above objectives. JRC was also providing technical support to DG AIDCO in the areas of Design Safety (DS) and Off-Site Emergency Preparedness (OSEP) in the framework of contract 25499. When this contract was extended in time, and consequently overlapped the present contract, it was decided that DS and OSEP activities would continue to be performed in the framework of contract 25499. Consequently, the activities performed under the present contract were mainly dedicated to the areas of Regulatory Authority/TSO assistance, Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning.
The division of the resources between the different activities requested in the contract depended on the specific work requests of the DG AIDCO project managers. JRC was able to respond flexibly to these requests and also to perform work in response to all kinds of ad hoc requests for technical support from the project managers. Preparation/review of ToRs for projects in the areas of regulatory assistance and radioactive waste management represented the major part of the work of the contract.
On request of DG AIDCO, JRC hosted the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Contact Expert Group (CEG) meeting from 26 to 28 May 2004 on the subject "Methods and Techniques for Radioactive Waste Management applicable for Remediation of Isolated Nuclear Sites". The proceedings, papers and presentations, were published on CD ROM by JRC.
The workshop was attended by 65 participants from 11 countries: Belgium, Finland France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Russian Federation, Sweden, United Kingdom, Slovakia plus the European Commission and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
During the workshop the Russian side presented information on radioactive waste (RW) accumulated at the former coastal nuclear bases in Andreeva Bay and in Gremikha, including the waste types, inventory, storage conditions, radiation situation, etc, and on Russian plans for development of RW management centre in Andreeva Bay. Western experts presented information on available experience in RW management and modern techniques of waste characterisation, treatment, decontamination, packaging, etc. Applicability of the presented methods and installations for remediation of isolated nuclear sites has been discussed.