The TACIS Joint Support Office (JSO) was established during January 2005 (see contract 32261). The principle objective of the JSO was to facilitate the project management cycle of the TACIS programme in the field of Nuclear Safety within Ukraine. The JSO’s Terms of Reference were aimed at the provision of support to its Ukrainian beneficiaries and its contracting authority EC AidCo A4, in co-operation with the EC Delegation in Kiev.
Following its establishment the JSO quickly became an integral part of the project management process in the nuclear sector of Ukraine. It provided substantial support in the management of a number of key areas, including the mitigation of risks in certain ongoing projects, and the creation of new initiatives having strategic importance (e.g. waste management strategy and safety culture improvement). However, it became clear that whilst a large number of the problems experienced within ongoing TACIS nuclear safety projects in Ukraine had been addressed through combined JSO/Delegation activities during the first 12 – 18 months of the JSO contract, many areas remained where attention to problems was beyond the scope of the resources available in this contract.
The closing of the TACIS programme post 2006, and the implementation of the EU/UA Memorandum of Understanding in the field of energy, would bring an opportunity to conduct a major review of all future activities supporting nuclear safety in Ukraine. This included a fundamental review of the On-Site Assistance process; creation of a standard approach to project management (by both Western utilities and Ukrainian counterparts), continued support to the regulator and implementation of an integrated approach to safety management. Since all these developments had to be sustainable over time, considerable effort and expertise, based in Kiev, was required over a number of years to ensure that they would be implemented.
Whilst the EC Delegation in Kiev remained closely involved with the political end of the spectrum concerning EC policy on nuclear issues in Ukraine, it clearly did not have the resources, skills base or operational flexibility to deal, on behalf of AidCo, with the major workload presented by management of the above issues, as well as being involved in the day to day difficulties arising from a large number of projects, being implemented on four different nuclear sites. Implementation of new initiatives (as described above) would require major professional effort, located in Kiev, directed from Brussels and coordinated with the political functioning of the Delegation. This was the main reason why the JSO had to be reinforced; using a mixture of suitably qualified local and Western resources, employed on a full and part time basis as dictated by priorities.
Throughout the period of the TACIS programme the focal point of assistance to Ukraine had been the provision of support to the implementation of the national NPP upgrading programme via on-site-assistance at the operating NPPs. Whilst it is recognised that this type of support had delivered essential improvements to nuclear safety in Ukraine, it was anticipated that the instrument that would replace TACIS in respect of supporting the promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture would focus on an increased delivery of projects directly associated with the management of nuclear safety and nuclear safety culture through the OSA programme. To this end AidCo A4 required the JSO to increase its support in the area of OSA and to establish itself as a link between the AidCo project managers, the OSA utilities operating in the Ukraine and the Ukrainian beneficiaries.
The present contract was raised in order to secure additional activities of the JSO complementary to those included in the original contract (32261). The contractor was expected to enhance the JSO capability and increase the size of the then current JSO team through the provision of additional staff.
The JSO was requested to work closely with NNEGC Energoatom, EC AidCo A4 and EC Delegation in Ukraine and the OSA Utilities in the area of On-Site Assistance in the following activities:
- Establishment of Site Coordination Units (SCU) at each of the NNEGC Energoatom sites together with the production of an SCU Manual identifying the quality arrangements, roles and responsibilities of SCU members.
- Establishment of an improved Action programme planning process, which would include the development of long term programme requirements in respect of projects to be funded and implemented.
- Establishment and development of a common approach to the proper establishment, development and management of the implementation of EC funded projects in Ukraine. This would include but not be limited to the provision of a common set of management tools and support, such as Project Modelling, Project Risk Management, and Project Oversight.
- Development of an improved and common approach to OSA utility progress reporting.
- Provision of technical support upon request.
- Establish monthly progress reporting meetings with OSA Utilities and NPP’s (SCU’s), providing direct feedback to AidCo A4 Project managers and Heads of Sector.
- Establish and facilitate progress/planning meetings between OSA utilities, NPP's, and EA HQ and if or when appropriate, with EC participation.
- Annual peer group meeting of OSA, NPP and HQ to cultivate cross-fertilisation of ideas, good practices, results.
- Active communication with OSA Utilities in regard to its activities identified above and ensuring accurate and timely feedback of information to AidCo A4 Project managers and Head of Sector.
- Support to and reorientation of future Soft OSA.
Over the TACIS period, the On-Site Assistance (OSA) programme had concentrated on the provision of support to Energoatom for implementation of large scale projects related to plant modernisation. The emphasis of OSA had been on equipment supply and installation. However, ‘soft assistance’ (management, organisation, safety culture, etc.), had always been part of OSA, but as the large scale equipment supply projects took precedence, soft assistance was of lower priority. Moreover, the ‘soft’ topics were different at each NPP which resulted in little to no commonality of approach throughout NNECG Energoam.
The closure of the TACIS programme post-2006 established an ideal opportunity for thorough reviews and if necessary reorientation of the support for nuclear safety in Ukraine. One such review is an in-depth evaluation of the On-Site Assistance process and organisation, with a view to creating a more integrated and effective process to project management of OSA activities. This would increase the efficacy and allow for reorientation of OSA towards “Soft on-site assistance”, which should result in greater sustainability of the results.
Consequently, in addition to the above mentioned activities, the JSO was also requested:
- to perform an appraisal of the current status of the safety management in Ukraine, following a well established methodology and principles;
- to provide the Commission with a view on a possible realignment of OSA to new activities and principles.
The scope of work comprised two tasks:
Task #1 Appraisal of the safety management in Ukraine
Within this task, using the concept developed and applied in Ukraine, the consultant was to undertake an initial general assessment of the status and activities on the generic management issues pertinent to nuclear safety within Energoatom.
The Consultant had to agree with the senior management of NNEGC on the benefits to be gained through the creation of an integrated company wide Safety Manage¬ment Plan and obtain corporate support for implementation. The consultant further had to establish the recommendation that would reflect NNEGC and Ukrainian specifics in the implementation of the Soft OSA supported safety management plan.
Task #2 definition of a strategy for the refocusing of OSA in Ukraine
The Consultant was to prepare a strategy and a list of potential topics agreed by Energoatom that could be defined and detailed later to be implemented as projects in future action programmes.
The JSO was required actively to communicate with OSA utilities in regards to the activities identified above and ensure accurate and timely feedback of information to AidCo A4 project managers and sector co-ordinators.
In order to perform the activities requested in the Terms of Reference, JSO was expected to employ two additional key experts, one senior long-term technical expert with significant management experience in a senior position within the western nuclear industry, as well as one full time interpreter/translator.