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 1997 programme, the Commission decided to entrust DG JRC with the provision of 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 field of nuclear safety.
The objective of this contract was the provision of technical support to the DGs (DGIA, SCR and then AIDCO) for the selection, programming, preparation and implementation of projects in the areas of Design Safety, Off-Site Emergency Preparedness and Decommissioning & Radioactive Waste management.
This support involved the following activities:
The objective of this activity was to ensure that the conclusions of the Master Planning activities were implemented into the annual programmes. This included the following activities:
- Discussions with the representatives of the beneficiary countries regarding their domestic programmes, needs and priorities.
- Identification of priorities of short term and long term actions for each type of nuclear reactor, taking into account past and present TACIS projects, projects of other donors as well as the national modernisation programmes.
The following activities were expected:
- Review of project proposals made by the programme beneficiaries and, if needed, elaboration of new proposals in dialogue with the beneficiaries.
- Selection of projects for inclusion in the TACIS Nuclear Safety Action Programme, in dialogue with the Beneficiaries, EC Delegations, Coordinating Units and the TACIS Experts Group.
- Technical definition of the projects.
- Estimation of project budgets.
- Drafting Project Description Sheets and evaluating financial proposals.
The following services were included:
- Drafting Terms of Reference (ToR) for projects, including the discussion of the ToR's with the beneficiaries up to their final endorsement;
- Providing technical assistance in the preparation of calls for tender and advice on tender shortlists;
- Evaluating tenders using the EC assessment criteria; participation in Evaluation Committee meetings and preparation of evaluation reports;
- Analysing the intermediate reports and final reports of contracts and providing evaluation reports and, if appropriate, warnings of project difficulties;
- Providing technical follow-up and coordination of projects;
- Drafting synthesis documents on the projects underway and making presentations of the results;
- Participating, on request, to technical/management meetings as an expert in support to DG IA/SCR/AIDCO.
The contract was signed on 3 August 1998, initially for a period of one year. It was successively extended by DG IA/SCR/AIDCO several times and had a final duration of six years.
The work was performed in accordance with the above objectives. During the first year, in addition to the work requested in the areas of Design Safety, Off-Site Emergency Preparedness and Decommissioning & Radioactive Waste management, JRC also provided support for On-Site Assistance activities on request from DG IA/SCR. After the first year, activities in the area of On-Site Assistance were performed in the framework of a separate contract (see contract 25940).
The division of the resources between the different activities requested in the contract depended on the specific work requests of the DG IA/SCR/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 of ToRs for a large number of nuclear safety projects represented the biggest single task of the contract.
In addition to the above, JRC agreed to host the technical archives of the TACIS Nuclear Safety programmes. This involved the transfer of a large number of documents from SCR to JRC in Petten, followed by the registration, classification and archiving of these documents in a purpose-built store in Petten. In this and subsequent contracts, JRC would have the responsibility to continuously maintain and update this archive by adding the technical deliverables produced under each of the TACIS nuclear safety projects.