By 2001 the TACIS programme had been operating for 10 years and had already committed more than €774 Million to improving nuclear safety in the former Soviet countries. Along with Russia, Ukraine was one of the biggest recipients of TACIS assistance.
The TACIS programme in Ukraine was fully established but was undergoing some evolution due to developing requirements of the different Beneficiaries. The priorities of the TACIS programme for the improvement of nuclear safety in Ukraine at the time were:
- Supporting the promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture in line with the principles of the Convention on Nuclear Safety, in particular through continuous support for regulatory bodies and, at the plant level, through on-site assistance, including equipment supplies, where such assistance is most needed ;
- Supporting the development and implementation of spent fuel, decommissioning and nuclear waste management strategies, including in Northwest Russia in the context of wider international co-operation ; and,
- Contributing to relevant EU supported international initiatives such as the G7/EU initiative on the closure of Chernobyl.
The programme also supported the application of efficient safeguards of nuclear materials.
The focal point of the assistance to Ukraine at that time was the provision of support to the implementation of the national NPP upgrading programme via on-site-assistance at the operating NPPs.
A Joint Management Unit had already been operating successfully in Moscow for some time and was providing valuable support to the EC for the management of the TACIS Nuclear Safety assistance programme in the Russian Federation.
In order to facilitate the project management cycle of the TACIS programme in the field of Nuclear Safety in Ukraine, the EC decided to establish a Joint Support Office (JSO) in Kiev. The JSO in Kiev was expected to play an instrumental role in achieving the programme objectives for Ukraine, mostly in the area of OSA to NPPs within the frame of the National Modernisation Plan.
The specific objectives of this contract were as follows:
- To create the Joint Support Office (JSO)
- To provide assistance to the EC and to Energoatom in the project cycle management of the TACIS nuclear safety programme in Ukraine, including, amongst others, the following:
- Provide Energoatom and the EC with logistical, technical and administrative support for the management of the Tacis nuclear safety programme; incl. the timely preparation of project proposals for the annual programmes in accordance with the EC rules and procedures in force,
- Provide assistance to Energoatom and the EC in the follow up of the various different steps between the initiation of a project, the preparation of the necessary documentation and up to its implementation; to provide early warning where needed and to recommend corrective measures, if any;
- Provide Energoatom with administrative and expert support for the process of the development and review of technical specifications or Terms of Reference;
- Attend relevant meetings (e.g. kick-off meetings) upon request of Energoatom and the EC and prepare minutes of meetings and/or notes to file for the EC Project Managers;
- Organise special meetings in Ukraine when requested by the ECProvide logistical and secretarial assistance for the preparation and execution of meetings of the Tacis Supervisory Board for Ukraine (TSBU), including provision of translation and interpretation services as well as preparation of minutes of the meeting;
- To establish a JSO website including an information exchange system regarding the various TACIS nuclear safety projects in preparation and in implementation and regarding the results and operating experiences of completed projects.
In order to effectively carry out its responsibilities, the JSO would have to establish a network of contacts and work closely together with numerous stakeholders of the programme, including:
- The Ministry of Fuel and Energy of Ukraine;
- Energoatom – the utility, responsible for operating all Ukrainian NPPs;
- SNRCU of Ukraine – the State Nuclear Regulatory Committee of Ukraine, responsible for all regulatory and inspection functions regarding nuclear safety in Ukraine;
- Ukrainian design institutes;
- EU nuclear operators acting as On-Site Assistance Consultants at the NPPs;
- Contractors and (local) subcontractors; in addition to,
- The European Commission EuropeAid Co-operation Office (AidCo) Nuclear Safety Unit;
- JRC – The Joint Research Centre at Petten, the Netherlands; and,
- EC Kiev Delegation.