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Establishment of Production strategy of instrumentation for the State System of Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials of the Russian Federation, Phase 4

 
Establishment of Production strategy of instrumentation for the State System of Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials of the Russian Federation, Phase 4

Description

Background

This project was the continuation of the projects R5.03/95 (see contract 24798), R5.03/96 (contract (25661) and R5.01/97C (contract 26512). It was the fourth and last phase of the overall programme aimed at setting up a production strategy of instrumentation for the State System of Accounting and Control (SSAC) of Nuclear Materials (NM). As such, it was aimed at continuing the activities which had been started in the frame of those previous projects and enabling the Russian industry to produce the instrumentation necessary for the SSAC of Nuclear Materials.

The objective of all three earlier contracts was to encourage and support the development of a strategy for the industrial production of NMA&C instrumentation in Russia. In particular this was achieved with the procurement of instrumentation and related equipment as well as the transfer of EU experience in developing and maintaining instrumentation for NMA&C. This program of work covered:

  • defining needs and specifications,
  • preparing recommendations for measurement quality assurance and for the technical support infrastructure to ensure the correct use of instrumentation for NMA&C throughout the Russian fuel cycle
  • developing a master plan for instrument development to submit to MINATOM (Rosatom) and
  • ensuring that implementation of the master plan was monitored, guided and adapted where appropriate.

These activities were carried out by the RF partner (VNIIA) in collaboration with a Bilateral Working Group (BWG) involving the European Commission represented by JRC-IPSC and a French state NMA&C control organisation the ‘Institut de Radioprotection et de Sureté Nucléaire’ (IRSN) of the ‘Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique’ (CEA). The BWG also included the participation of Russian institutes and facilities (VNIIA, VNIINM, SNIIP, IPPE, NIIAR , Mayak, OAO MBZ Electrostal, etc). This organisation was continued for the present contract.

Objective

The general objectives of this and related TACIS projects was to encourage and support the development of a strategy for industrial production of NMA&C instrumentation in Russia. Other activities, carried out under calls for tender, were aimed at the construction, (in collaboration between Russian and EU industry where appropriate), of small industrial series of instruments.

The Russian Federation had been redesigning the state system of nuclear materials accountancy and control since 1994. This had involved developing new legislation and the acquisition of the new measurements systems and other devices required for implementing the objectives of the legislation. The process of acquisition of improved measurement techniques had been proceeding for some years. In spite of this, a great part of the necessary instrumentation was still not available. This was due to lack of sufficient state funds.

One of the priorities that had been identified in the Russian Federation analysis of needs was instrumentation for isotopic analysis of small samples in analytical laboratories throughout the fuel cycle. These measurements were required on both uranium and plutonium materials in order to achieve a sufficiently precise accountancy of both process material and waste in bulk handling facilities. The acquisition of this equipment was an important element in achieving an effective state system which could provide the assurance of non-proliferation and the detection of theft of nuclear material.

The specific project objectives were to procure the instrumentation necessary to implement three specific methods for measuring isotopic abundances and to install these methods in the major RF facilities dealing with enrichment, fabrication and reprocessing of nuclear material [Mayak (Ozersk), SCC (SHK, Seversk), MCP (GHK, Zheleznogorsk), NCCP (NZHK, Novosibirsk), MSZ (MBP, Electrostal), UECP (UEHK, Novouralsk)]. These specific objectives stemmed from the work carried out under the earlier contracts which had identified the implementation of these three methods as a priority need. The specific objectives also included activities designed to ensure that the instrumentation to be acquired under TACIS tenders was implemented, that its performance in routine use was evaluated and that a measurement quality assurance infrastructure was put in place.

As well executing such implementation activities for the three isotopic abundance measurement devices and methods to be procured under the proposed tender in this project, some implementation activities were to include carrying out evaluation of in-field performance and reliability of instrumentation supplied by Russian industry under previous tenders.

The project consisted of the following activities:

Task 1 - Analysis of needs and Identification of three distinct types of instrument systems designed to measure isotopic abundances in a variety of types of material.

  • Alpha Spectrometer System
  • Gamma Absorber System for Uranium and Plutonium in Solutions
  • X-Ray Fluorescence System for Uranium and Plutonium in Solutions

The proposed call for tender was expected to be for several of each type of instrument. The actual number of units of each system type was to be finally decided after the technical specifications had been finalised (taking into account the available budget). JRC-IPSC and VNIIA were also required to provide all technical support to the tender evaluation process.

Task 2 - Assessment of infrastructure needs for successful implementation of measurement instruments.

  • Task 2.1 Collaboration activities between JRC-IPSC, IRSN and VNIIA to make a joint study of the French and Russian regulations and norms and monitoring practices aimed at governing the effective implementation of the instrumentation for NMA&C purposes
  • Task 2.2 Collaboration between IPSC, VNIIA and IRSN, to organise technical meetings where necessary for the implementation of the instrumentation. The content of such meetings could include formalization of regulatory controls on the effective use of the instrumentation for NMA&C purposes (instrumentation quality assurance, measurement control programs, instrumentation testing methodology, reference materials, repair and re-qualification, state authority inspection/monitoring practices) as well as recommendations dealing with organisational and financial questions.

Task 3 - Procurement.

  • Task 3.1 Finalisation of Technical Specifications for the preparation of tendering documents and procedures
  • Task 3.2 Support to AIDCO for tender reception, evaluation and selection of supplier
  • Task 3.3 Support to AIDCO for implementation of the Procurement contract and related administrative and financial issues

The equipment was procured under separate TACIS projects, R5.03/03S (see contracts 76784 and 121713).

Task 4 - Acceptance and Testing of the Equipment

  • Task 4.1 Acceptance of the Instrument procured
  • Task 4.2 Performance evaluation of the Instruments procured
  • Task 4.3 Performance Evaluation of instruments procured under this tender and if needed previous tenders in this Task.

Task 5 - Training and Report

  • Task 5.1 Training on the Instruments procured
  • Task 5.2 Production of project final report

Results

The contract was signed on 1 August 2003 and was completed on 1 December 2007.

The project successfully achieved its main objectives.

Considering severe delays in the project start and results from related projects and needs expressed by project stakeholders, the activities of Task 2 were replaced by an end-of-project Technical Workshop with focus on exchange of results by French and Russian studies on identified gaps and needs. This approach gave a higher added value to the project impact than merely exchanging reports.

Additionally, the regulations for NMAC were partially covered by another Tacis project whereas this project provided complementary information on shipping and receipt control and accountancy of nuclear material through the IRSN subcontract.

Regarding the activities related to the procurement of measuring devices, these resulted in two supply contracts, both signed in November 2006:

  • Seven Alpha Spectrometers to be delivered by Canberra to Tomsk-7 and Mayak (see contract 76784),
  • Two X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Analysers to be delivered by the Russian company Green Star Instruments (see contract 121713).

The Gamma Absorber System for U-Pu could not be defined in a neutral way and was cancelled.

The XRF Analysers were delivered to Mayak with training and successful tests in October 2007. Two Spectrometers were delivered to Tomsk with acceptance testing in April 2008. The tax exemption for the five devices for Mayak was not approved immediately, thereby delaying the delivery until after May 2008. VNIIA provided follow-up to the equipment supply and JRC-Ispra remained closely informed after the expiry of the current contract.


General Information

Title: 
Establishment of Production strategy of instrumentation for the State System of Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials of the Russian Federation, Phase 4
Programme: 
TACIS
Amount: 
€ 398.239,68
Budget year: 
1998
Countries: 
Russia
Nature: 
Services
Types of activities: 
Safeguards
Sector: 
WDS - Waste, Decommissioning and Safeguards
Duration (months): 
51
Contracting authority: 
European Commission
Partner (Beneficiary): 
MINATOM RF, later ROSATOM (since 12/2007)
Contractors: 
JRC (Joint Research Centre - European Commission)
Status: 
Closed
CRIS number: 
30290
Project reference: 
R5.03/98
Decision number: 
TACIS/1998/000-477
Method of procurement: 
Direct Agreement
Signature date: 
29/07/2003
Effective contract date: 
01/08/2003
Contract end date: 
01/12/2007
Closure date: 
05/08/2009