3rd-Solicitation Round : FAQ
Regarding procedures for applying to this subsidy program
Is it possible to apply for more than one technologies at the same time?
Yes. To apply for multiple technologies, you need to submit proposals separately for each project. When more than one proposals are adopted, you should carry out them in such a framework that your goals will be accomplished by the end of project period.
Is it possible for an overseas company to apply independently?
Any overseas company may apply independently as long as it satisfies the application requirements set forth in article 5, Application requirements of the Guidelines for applying to the “Validation of technologies for contaminated water management project” in the FY2013 Supplementary Budget (hereinafter referred to as Guidelines), such as “(Such entities) ensure organizations for properly conducting the relevant subsidized project.”, “(Such entities) have the capacity, knowledge and experience required for conducting the relevant subsidized project”, etc.
How will the information of applications be handled?
METI and the management office will NOT disclose the contents of proposals submitted by applicants to anyone during and after the evaluation/review. As the memebers of the committee signed the non-disclosure agreement, they won’t release information obtained in the evaluation/review. There is a possiblity, however, the information will be disclosed upon request except the classified items specified by its applicant. For the details of the private policy of this RFP, please see “Private Policy” on the website below.
Will the application cost be borne by the government?
The cost for preparing proposals and the like need to be borne by applicants.
Is it possible to ask for additional information before submitting a proposal (or before starting the project)?
Please contact to Management Office for the Project(hereinafter referred to as PMO) if you need additional information before submitting a proposal. Please note that we may not be able to provide information depending on the question. Also, please note that every information we provide will be officially disclosed.
Is it possible for an organization without juridical personality to apply?
Such an organization may also apply as long as it satisfies the application requirements of Item 5 in the Guidelines.
Is it possible for some companies to apply a joint proposal?
Some companies are allowed to apply a joint proposal. Please write the information of the representative company in Form 1 and the relation to other companies (joint proposals, subcontracts, etc.) and their roles in “3. Project Implementation Scheme” of Form 2.
Is it possible to make a proposal by using methods other than the specified application forms (i.e. by explaining orally or using the media such as brochures and image files)?
You are eligible for the paper screening ONLY by preparing your proposal with the designated forms. Any other media you may use will NOT be taken into consideration for the paper screening.
We would like to make a proposal jointly with other companies. Is it possible for you to suggest or recommend other companies or organizations for us?
The project team (structure) need to be built by the applicant company.
If we apply for the project with other companies as a team, how will the process after the adoption be?
The representative organization takes charge of the implementation plan, preparation and submission of the accomplishment report. The final settlement inspection will be conducted for each organization. As a general rule, the subsidy will be granted to the representative organization.
Regarding procedures for applying to this subsidy program (Evaluation)
Who is going to evaluate the proposals?
The application documents from applicants shall be evaluated by PMO, and the presentations (in case it is necessary) shall be also evaluated by Review Committee consisting of domestic and overseas knowledgeable persons.
Are the results of evaluations or member of the Review Committee publicly announced? Also, are the applicantes to be informed of the results of evaluations?
We will notice the contract winner of the results by email or postal mail. The plan adopted and its applicants (representative) will be announced on the designated website.
To ensure the fairness, the names of the Review Committee members will not be disclosed before the screening.
This RFP seems to be more favorable to Japanese companies because the guidelines and requirements are more easiler to follow for Japanese companes.
As the project must be implemented by spending the subsidies granted by the Japanese government in accordance with Japan’s laws, you are requested to implement it by observing all the laws and regulations of Japan. Please note that, in these proposal request procedures, there is no factor favorable or advantageous for Japanese companies.
With regard to the evaluation criteria, what do the “basic points” and the “additional points” mean?
The “basic points” refers to the conditions which have to be met unfailingly and the “additional points” refers to the items which give additional points if the contents of the proposal is excellent. Please note that if any of the the basic point items is missing, no additional points will be given.
Has it already been decided how many proposals will be adopted in each project?
No, we do not determine the number of adopted proposals in each project beforehand. We plan to adopt more than one proposal in each project.
Is there a possibility that the review committee would use the proposal documents for any proposes other than their evaluation?
The members of the committee shall individually conclude an NDA with the PMO, thus they shall not use the proposal documents for any other purposes other than their evaluation.
Regarding the RFP (Miscellaneous)
When is the contract supposed to be concluded?
As this is the subsidy programs, no “contract” will be concluded while the “decision on the grant of subsidies” will be published. The grant of subsidies is going to be decided in 1 to 2 months frome the date of the closure of application.
When are the subsidies going to be granted?
The subsidies are granted after the subsidized project and inspection work are complete.
If overseas operators are entrusted with C/S or F/S, how will you have discussion with them after the start of projects? And how will the frequency be?
Once the projects start, we will have meetings, interim report and final report as well as progress report of the project as necessary. The above condition will be taken into account for the frequency of meetings.
Is it possible to check the details of the information session on July 4, 2014?
Yes. You can see the video of the information session on our web page.
Is there the upper limit of the subsidy per project?
The upper limit of the subsidy is 50,000,000 yen per adopted project.
Can the subsidy amount actually paid be determined only after the “settlement of the amount”, conducted after completion of the project?
In principle, the paid amount will be settled after expiration of the project period – starts from the grant decision and terminates on 31st March, 2015 -, confirmation of the project result, and inspection for settlement of the amount by the PMO. This procedure is formulated by Japanese accounting rules. However, there are exemptions, for example, devision of the project period into some steps and payment at times when each step is completed and the completion is confirmed. In any case, details of the project, subsidy amount etc. will be decided only after the grant decision and coordination with the PMO and with METI. Therefore, in application, please clearly describe your specific request to the payment method, etc.
Where can I find the latest unit prices of each grade which the Japanese health insurance designates in order to determine the premium and which METI refers to?
Please refer to the section of “Related Manual and Guidelines” on our website, where we have uploaded the latest unit prices (Japanese text only).
How should the necessary expense for the projects be categorized in the proposal?
Please divide the necessary expenses into (1) labor costs and (2) operating costs (raw materials, consumables, design/fabrication/processing, facility/equipment, goods purchase, research, outsourcing, travel, reward, rent/depreciation and other necessities) as written in Exhibit 2 of the Grand Policy for Subsidy.
Regarding the projects (General)
Will research and development (R&D) be implemented for the adopted proposals by this RFP in future?
After the decision of granting, the conceptual study (C/S) and/or the feasibility study (F/S) will be conducted for the adopted proposals. After them, the research and development (R&D) may be implemented as necessary based on the consideration of feasibility, etc. Not all the adopted proposals will proceed to R&D.
How does the exchange rate for other currencies than Japanese yen be fixed for the projects?
For the exchange rate, each subsidized entity’s standard rate will be applied if any. Otherwise, we use the “basic exchange rate” by Bank of Japan. Please note that payments shall be made in Japanese yen only.
Is it possible for applicants to visit and check the project site at Fukuoka Daiichi Nuclear Power Station in advance?
If there are some requests after the selection of subsidized entities, we can ask TEPCO (Decontamination & Decommissioning (D&D) Engineering Company) to arrange the opportunity. However, TEPCO (D&D Engineering Company) may review and decide the detail plan of confirmation for site condition.
The section of the prerequisites of on-site operation states that “Dimension of equipment to be brought in, in principle, shall meet with the passageway width of 1.2m and height of 3m.” Is there any requirements on “length”?
Assuming that the large hatch is used, equipment with the size up to the large hatch (the length of one side is approx. 4.5m) can be carried in, if the passageway continues from the large hatch on each floor. Another investigation will be required if the passageway and stairways other than those will be used.
Regarding the project (Conceptual study project of innovative approach for fuel debris retrieval)
In this RFP, the innovative approach of fuel debris retrieval is limited to “In-air method.” What is the reason for that?
It is defined that the innovative approach is the method to be used if radiation shielding by the submersion cannot be counted. We limit the innovative approach to “in-air method” as a representative method under those kinds of conditions.
Are the subsidized entities requested to remove shield plug using 100t-class over head crane?
The scope to be discussed for this RFP includes the removing work for shield plug. Removing work will be conducted by TEPCO (D&D Engineering Company) but the operation plan, such as method of maintaining boundaries shall be verified by the subsidized entities.
Are the assumptions and prerequisites specified in the RFP Specifications allowed to be changed during the project period?
In principle, Assumptions and Prerequisites cannot be changed, however those can be changed if applicants can explain reasonable grounds. Also, Assumptions and Prerequisites is basic assumption for this project, but it is subject to change according to the revision of mid- and long-term roadmap and the new facts obtained based on the investigation results.
The RFP Specifications says that an “alternative cooling method if the proposed retrieval method cannot maintain the current cooling scheme” in the considerations. Does that mean an alternative cooling method such as air cooling ?
Applicants may be requested to propose an alternative cooling method when the proposed method cannot maintain the current water cooling scheme due to the dismantling of in-core structures. In such a case, any cooling methods are acceptable.
What is the container covering the operation floor?
We assume the structure covering operation floor which consists of roof top and outer wall that can support 100t class over head crane. However, please note that you cannot expect shielding and airtight function for this container in the verification of boundaries.
To what extent research and development, approximate costs, operational process and scheme, which are specified as the considerations of the conceptual study (C/S), should be considered?
The research and development (R&D), prototype manufacturing and mock-up test are included in the research and development, approximate cost, operational process and scheme to be considered for this project. However, on-site preparation cost, on-site operation cost and the like for actual application are excluded.
What is the meaning of those “Status check of fuel debris inside the PCV is to be executed in 2016” and “Status check of fuel debris inside the RPV is to be executed in 2018” which are specified as prerequisites of the operation?
Please make a plan so that the results of internal status check on PCV is available in 2016 and those on PRV in 2018 in order to start the fuel debris retrieval planned in FY 2020.
How should applicants correspond to one of the prerequisites of the operation, “start the fuel debris retrieval in 2020”?
Please plan so as to start the fuel debris retrieval work in FY 2020.
Is it possible to propose other methods than the three methods described in the RFP Specifications?
e.g. Method accessing from the under the ground.
Proposals for other methods than those exemplifications are also acceptable. However, for example, if the method accessing from under the ground is considered, the method shall not have an impact for the frozen wall which is now being constructed around the building or can maintain seismic safety etc.
What should applicants specifically think about the hydrogen accumulation which is written in as the considerations of the conceptual study (C/S)?
If hydrogen is accumulated inside the PCV and RPV, there are possibilities of ignition and explosion. Therefore, measurements are necessary such as “Operation shall be started after the confirmation that the concentration of hydrogen gas is sufficiently low”, “Verify operation method not causing spark” and so on.
Specifications of canister used for TMI are shown. Is it possible to propose the another canister which has different shape and dimension according to the method?
Specifications of canister used for TMI are shown because the design of debris canister is not fixed yet. It is difficult to use the canister with dimension of approx. 200㎜ or more from the perspective of criticality control. However, spec can be changed if subsidized entities can prove there is no problem for its use method from the comprehensive evaluation for the relation with the method.
Is it possible to retrieve fuel debris in large size block and cut those into small pieces which can be put in the canister in the different place?
It can be proposed if it is feasible method in consideration of criticality management.
Various technologies are assumed to be required for this conceptual study project. Should all the proposed technologies be feasible?
Feasible method is supposed to be verified during the conceptual study (C/S) but there may be some technologies which cannot be determined whether it is feasible or not during the verification. In that case, please describe concerns and solutions for the technologies.
What is the meaning of “no new openings, in principle, shall be created on the outer wall of the building” which is written as a prerequisite of the on-site operation?
It means that in principle, current opening and passageway shall be used for operation. However, if you need to create “new opening on the building wall” because of the method requirement, due consideration shall be paid for the strength of the building and prevention of dispersion of radioactive substances.
Is there any information regarding layout of Units 1-4 of Fukushima Daiichi NPS?
For the current layouts of Fukushima Daiichi NPS, please refer to the following websites.
Can we construct auxiliary building outside the reactor building for fuel debris retrieval operation ?
Possibility of constructing the auxiliary building will be verified with subsidized entities and the relevant company during C/S after the selection of subsidized entities. If aux building will be required, please describe minimum required size of the auxiliary building, the construction location and the functions of facility including auxiliary building.
Regarding the project (Feasibility study project of visual and measurement technologies for innovative approach)
Is the dimension of target specification applied for the overall structure combining with the lighting?
Limitation of dimension for target specification is applied for the structure combining with the lighting.
Is the cost for actual application included in the cost to be shown as considerations of the feasibility study (F/S)?
The cost to be considered for this project includes from the manufacturing of equipment etc. at the plant to the location transportation(free-ontruck).
The RFP Specifications says that “light weight visual equipment.” How much is the equipment supposed to weigh?
Visual equipment is assumed to be mounted on the transporting equipment such as manipulator, and its weight needs to be reduced. Target weight may be approx. 10kg, but it varies depending on the performance of the transportation equipment.
Under what condition is visual technology used specifically?
The visual technology is assumed to be used for internal investigation and surveillance of cutting operation in air but with high humidity and temperature, and poor visual condition due to the fume even if the lighting is equipped. In concrete, it will be used to confirm the locations of cutting object and cutting equipment and condition of cutting.
By measurement technologies, we need to identify the fuel debris. Is information regarding the expected major nuclide of fuel debris, and its radiation type and energy provided as a required information to identify them by the radiation measurement?
Please assume fuel debris specification based on the information of the documents regarding heat value and composition (nuclide) of spent fuel. Information regarding the spent fuel is available at the following website.
Regarding the project (Feasibility study project of cutting fuel debris and dust collection technologies for innovative approach)
Is it possible to propose cutting technology, without dust collection technology?
Cutting technology can be proposed if it does not require dust collection. If it produces dust and fume, please propose with dust collection technology.
Is the cost for actual application included in the cost to be shown as the considerations of the feasibility study (F/S)?
The cost to be considered in this project includes from the manufacturing of equipment etc. at the plant to the location transportation (free-ontruck).
Is it possible to make a proposal including the fee for cutting test using simulating debris?
Please make a proposal including the cutting test and its fee if the subsidized entities can prepare simulating debris by itself.
Can Management Office provide simulating debris?
In this project, Management Office does not plan to provide simulating debris.
Is it possible to use water from the prospect of cooling and prevention of dispersion of radioactive material generated by cutting? Can we use lubricant?
Water and lubricants can be used but the technology to collect water (slurry) and oil containing dust generated by cutting debris will require to be proposed.