2nd-Solicitation Round : FAQ
Regarding procedures for application
Is it allowable to simultaneously apply for some projects?
Yes. To apply for some projects, you need to submit proposals separately for each project. If you plan to apply for some projects, you must establish a scheme which enables you to complete the projects within the project duration even though you would implement some projects simultaneously.
Is an overseas company eligible for application independently?
Yes, any overseas companies are eligible for application independently as long as they satisfy 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”, such as “(The entities) ensure organizations for properly conducting the relevant subsidized project.”, “(The entities) have the capacity, knowledge and experience required for conducting the relevant subsidized project”, etc.
How will the information contained in the application documents be handled?
METI and PMO will NOT disclose the contents of proposals submitted by applicants to anyone during and after the evaluation/review. Because conclusion of the non-disclosure agreement is one of the conditions of appointment of the members of the review committee, they won’t release the information obtained through the evaluation/review process as well.
Nevertheless, you have to be noted that the information which has not been classified as confidential might be subject to disclosure as a response to the request for disclosure.
For the details of the private policy of this RFP, please refer to the “Private Policy” on the website below.
Can the costs for the application be covered by the Japanese Government?
No, we will not compensate for any costs for the application.
Is it possible to ask for additional data on plants, etc. in establishing a proposal or in implementation of the project?
If you need supplemental information, please contact us. We cannot assure we can release all of the information you need; and we will release the information if it is available. The following page shows a sample of the information released by us.
Furthermore, you can consult the “Plan of technical strategy for decommissioning of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station – toward Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap 2015” by NDF, which shows where fuel debris and FP lie and the activities steps in the case of submerged approach, etc.
Is an organization without juridical personality eligible for application?
An organization is also eligible as long as it satisfies the application requirements of stipulated in Item 5 in the Guidelines.
Is it allowable for different companies to establish a JV and apply?
We can accept proposals submitted by JVs. If you would like to apply for this project as a JV, please describe the leading company and the implementation scheme on the designated form.
Is it allowable to make a proposal through the methods other than filling in the specified application forms (i.e. by oral presentation or using the media such as brochures and image files)?
We will not accept any proposals not using the stipulated submission forms. Any other media you may use will NOT be taken into account for the paper screening.
We would like to make a proposal jointly with other companies. Is it possible for you to suggest or recommend partner companies or organizations for us?
No. You must find suitable partners and establish the implementation scheme by yourself.
If we apply for the project with other companies as a team, how will the process after the adoption be?
The leading organization takes charge of establishment of the implementation plan, preparation and submission of the accomplishment report. All of the organizations composing the JV must be investigated for the settlement of the subsidy amount. As a general rule, the subsidy will be paid to the leading organization.
Regarding procedures for evaluation and adoption
Who is in charge of evaluation of the proposals?
The application documents shall firstly be evaluated by PMO in the paper examination; and applicants’ oral presentations (in case it is necessary) shall be evaluated by the review committee consisting of experts.
Will the results of evaluation or the names of the members of the review committee be released? Also, will the applicants be informed of the results of the evaluation?
We are going to release the adopted projects and the name of the adopted entities (or the name of the leading company of the adopted JV) on our dedicated website. To ensure the fairness, the names of the review committee members will not be disclosed.
This solicitation seems to be more advantageous to Japanese companies because it is easier for them to observe the guidelines or the manual when compared with overseas companies.
This project is financed by Japanese governmental budget and is implemented in accordance with Japanese scheme and in compliance with Japanese laws. However, any Japanese companies will not be treated preferentially.
Regarding the evaluation criterion, what do the “basic points” and the “additional points” mean respectively?
The “basic point” refers to the conditions which must absolutely be met; and the “additional points” refer to the items which give additional points if the contents of the proposal are excellent. Please note that if you fail to meet a “basic points” condition, you will be disqualified.
Has it already been decided how many proposals will be adopted for each project?
The number of proposal(s) scheduled to be adopted is as follows:
Comprehensive proposal: One
Partial proposal: More than 1
Is there a possibility that a member of the review committee would use the proposal documents for any proposes other than their evaluation?
Because conclusion of the non-disclosure agreement is one of the conditions of appointment of the members of the review committee, they won’t make use of the application documents other than for the purpose of their evaluation.
Regarding criterion for technical examination, how many points are allocated for the basic points and for the additional points respectively?
5 points are allocated for every basic point; and the remaining points are allocated for the additional points.
Regarding the RFP (Miscellaneous)
When is the contract supposed to be concluded?
Because of the nature of this project, that is, it is not a commercial transaction but subsidized project, no contracts will be concluded between PMO and the implementing entities; “decision on the grant of subsidies” can be compared to the contract. The grant of subsidies is scheduled to be decided within 1 through 2 months after the deadline of the application.
When is the subsidy going to be paid?
The subsidy is going to be paid after completion of the project and the settlement of amount procedure.
If an overseas entity is adopted, how will the meetings be held? And how often?
PMO and implementing entities will have meetings, interim report and final report as well as progress report of the project as necessary. The frequency of meetings depends on the necessity of these meetings and reports.
Is it possible to watch the information session held on June 30, 2015?
You can watch the videos of the session in our dedicated website.
Is there a fixed upper limit of the subsidy amount?
The upper limits are different in each project and a comprehensive proposal or a partial proposal. The subsidy amount is fixed and the upper limits are as follows:
Project of Development of Fundamental Technologies for Retrieval of Fuel Debris and Internal Structures
Comprehensive proposal：4,000,000,000 JPY
Partial proposal：500,000,000 JPY
Project of Upgrading Approach and System for Retrieval of Fuel Debris and Internal Structures
Comprehensive proposal：1,500,000,000 JPY
Partial proposal：500,000,000 JPY
Can the subsidy amount to be actually paid be determined only after the “settlement of the amount” procedure, conducted after completion of the project?
In principle, the paid amount will be settled after expiration of the project period, confirmation of the project result, and inspection for settlement of the amount by PMO. This procedure is formulated by Japanese accounting rules.
However, there are some exemptions; for example, division 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 find the latest information in the “Health Insurance Grade Rate” uploaded to our website (Japanese text only).
How should the necessary expenses for the project 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, remunerations, rent/depreciation and other necessities) as described in Exhibit 2 of the Grand Policy for Subsidy.
The Guidelines state: “If you participate in this project as an entity of partial proposal, you have to submit a grant application the contents of which are until the interim results and implement your project accordingly”. At the same time, we are required to propose design, tests, etc. of tests equipment, which would be necessary in the phase after the interim results. How should the proposal be made?
The proposal should include the contents after the interim results. If you are adopted, you will be required to submit the grant application which includes the contents until the interim results.
Regarding the projects (General)
In implementation of the project, is it possible to ask for necessary information from the entity of comprehensive proposal (or the entity of partial proposal) using the organization of in-put/out-put information?
It is supposed that information will be shared among the entity of comprehensive proposal and the entity of partial proposal at the timing of commencement of the project and other appropriate timings by organizing the in-put/out-put information. PMO will support the coordination of the information sharing, etc., if needed.
How will the exchange rate between Japanese yen and other currencies be fixed for the projects?
For the exchange rate, each subsidized entity’s standard rate will be applied if the entity has its own company rule stipulating it. Otherwise, we use the “basic exchange rate” stipulated by Bank of Japan. Please note that payments shall be made exclusively in Japanese yen.
Is there any possibility to have meetings regularly other than at the timing of plan establishment and production of the final results among the entity of comprehensive proposal and the entity of partial proposal?
At this time, the meetings are supposed to be held at the timing of plan establishment and production of the final results; however, it is possible that meetings will be held at the other necessary timings.
When do we have to define the Technology Readiness Level (TRL)?
The TRL required to be set at “ Clarification of tests conditions and specifications for development” must be set before commencement of the elements tests and equipment design and it must be shared with the concerned parties. The TRL required to be set at “ Definition of criterion for judgment of degree of objective achievement” must be set at the timing of the proposal.
Is it possible that it will be necessary to reconsider the input/output information supplementary in response to an information request from other entities?
It is possible that you will be forced to reconsider the input/output information; therefore, please estimate the costs and man-hours in consideration of this possibility. Furthermore, it is possible that you have to amend the project plan if it must be changed drastically.
In “ Clarification of tests conditions and specifications for development” of “(4) Operation of research and development”, it is stated that “information on the target of the degree of the tests and equipment development compared to the requirement level must be shared with concerned parties”. Who is referred to as the “concerned parties”?
The “concerned parties” indicate ANRE, NDF, the adopted entity and PMO.
Regarding the schedule, when should the entity of partial proposal be supposed to submit the interim results?
The timing of the compilation of the interim results should be supposed to be done at the end of March, 2016 for your reference.
Please be noted that it is possible that the timing or contents of the interim results could be altered in accordance with the comprehensive coordination with the entity of comprehensive proposal and as a result of the evaluation and confirmation by the concerning organizations.
Regarding project (Project of Development of Fundamental Technologies for Retrieval of Fuel Debris and Internal Structures)
In the partial proposal, how should the proposal be divided?
One of the twelve elements tests is supposed to be a unit of a proposal.
At the step “Establishment of development conditions and develop target” done by the entity of comprehensive proposal, information must be shared between the entity of comprehensive proposal and the entity of partial proposal; therefore the issue of protection of IP must be taken care of. To solve this issue, can we expect a support from PMO?
PMO is going to support cooperation between the entity of comprehensive proposal and the entity of partial proposal; however, sensitive information must be protected by the entities themselves properly.
In “vii) Cutting and dust gathering technology as well as visual imaging technology and measurement technology in fuel debris retrieval” of ① of (2) in “2. Contents of Project”, there is an expression: “blended material of ceramics, metal and concrete simulating fuel debris”. Must the method have the experience of cutting ceramics, metal and concrete without exception?
If the method has an experience of cutting blended material which simulates fuel debris, it can be a target of the elements tests.
In “vii) Cutting and dust gathering technology as well as visual imaging technology and measurement technology in fuel debris retrieval” of ① of (2) in “2. Contents of Project”, it is stated that “Dust gathering tests will be conducted after evaluation and confirmation of the cutting tests by concerned organizations.”. Is it possible to implement cutting tests and dust collection tests simultaneously?
The dust collection tests must be conducted after evaluation and confirmation of the cutting tests as stipulated.
Regarding project (Project of Upgrading Approach and System for Retrieval of Fuel Debris and Internal Structures)
In the partial proposal, how should the proposal be divided?
One of the three approaches must be deemed as a unit of a proposal.
The proposal requirements include consideration of “Whether or not equipment composing the system can be installed in the existing buildings”. Do we have to consider this point for all of the three units?
You can focus on one of the three units; however, it is desirable that all of the units will be the subject of your consideration.
(2) of “2. Contents of Project” refers to one of the three approaches; is it allowable to make a proposal combining the top-access approach and the side-access approach?
You can make a proposal deploying combination of some approaches as a partial proposal as long as it is feasible.