FAQ : FY2018 Supplementary Budget (2nd Solicitation Round)
Regarding procedures for application
Is an overseas company eligible for application independently?
Yes, any overseas companies are eligible for application independently as long as they satisfy the requirements set forth in article 6. Application Requirements in the Guidelines of the Subsidy Program, 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 use the contents of application documents submitted for other purposes than the evaluation/review. And we’ve made a non-disclosure agreement with all the members of the review committee. Nevertheless, you have to be noted that the information which has not been classified as confidential will be subject to disclosure as a response to the legal 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, any costs for the application are not compensated.
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 provide all of the information you need; and if we provide the information, we will release this information on the website.
Is an organization without juridical personality eligible for application?
This organization is also eligible as long as it satisfies the requirements of stipulated in Item 6 in the Guidelines.
Do you accept proposal from a JV of multiple organizations?
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 form will NOT be taken into account for the paper screening.
We would like to make a proposal jointly with other companies. Is it possible to 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 managing company (or managing organization) takes charge of establishment of the implementation plan, preparation and submission of the accomplishment report. Each companies and organizations composing the JV must be investigated for the settlement of the subsidy amount.
There may be some time lag between the deadline of the application documents and the commencement date of the subsidized project. Is it acceptable to describe the implementation scheme based upon the personnel change taking place after the deadline?
Yes, It is acceptable.
Regarding Form 5, what should we present the related documents to submit ?
If you have received approval of Export administration regulations from METI, please present documents that can confirm the approval.
Regarding Form 5, what should we write down if we don’t have a plan to import or export something which requires permission under Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Act ?
Please mark “〇” to the item “Not Required” and state the reason too.
Regarding the project implementation scheme described in “7. Requirement Conditions for Grant Decision (5)”, does it neeed to be stated at the time of proposal?
Please attach the document of the project implementation scheme in “7. Requirement Conditions for Grant Decision (5)” to the results report after the end of the project. There is no need to include it in the application form.
How should we handle the consumption tax increase planned on October 2019?
When it corresponds to “those listed below… permitted to include the consumption tax in the expenses covered by the subsidy when calculating the amount of subsidy” described in “11. Allocation of Expenses (3)”, calculate the grant amount with 10% consumption tax rate at the time of application.
Is it possible to place an order to crossing the fiscal year?
If you place an order over the fiscal year, it may be necessary to make adjustments depending on the national budgetary situation. On the application documents, please indicate the year in which payment will occur, and indicate that it will be an order that crosses the fiscal year. In actual execution, PMO will consult individually.
Do you list outsourcing costs for each subcontractor, and do you list for each item (1)(2) of “2. Contents of Project”?
Regarding outsourcing costs, please describe the breakdown for each work item scheduled for outsourcing.
The implementation period of the project is 2 years, should the items of the implementation plan and the implementation year be associated?
Please associate the implementation items described in the implementation plan with the implementation year. At that time, please describe items that will be implemented across the fiscal year so that they can be understood.
Regarding procedures for evaluation and adoption
Who is in charge of evaluation of the proposals?
The application documents shall firstly be evaluated by the review committee consisting of experts. Paper examination and if necessary, applicants’ oral presentation shall be also conducted.
For the presentation evaluation, can we supplement some information to the contents of the application document?
You can add supplementary explanation at the presentation evaluation.
Should the applicant come to the venue for the presentation evaluation?
If you cannot come to the venue for the presentation, please contact us in advance so that you can make a presentation via a Web conference, a TV conference and such. In such a case, however, the applicant may take risks of bad connection, etc.
How long is the time of oral presentation of the presentation evaluation?
The time of oral presentation may be changed according to the number of applicants.
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 in the review process.
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.
Is there a possibility that a member of the review committee would use the proposal documents for any other purpose other than for 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 for any other purpose other than for evaluation.
When will the results of the paper screening be informed? When will the review committee be held?
We will inform the entity having passed the paper screening of the result as soon as possible. The review committee is planned to be held on May 27, 2019.
Is the number of proposals to be adopted decided in advance?
The number of planned adoption is one or more. The specific number of adoption has not been decided.
Regarding the RFP (Miscellaneous)
When is the subsidy going to be paid?
Basically, the payment will be made after the subsidy amount is settled following the completion of the subsidy project. However, depending on the entity’s circumstance, the payment by estimate before the completion of the project may be admitted.
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 there any reference for METI’s health insurance costs by grade?
Please see the latest list of the health insurance costs which is posted on our web site.
Can the subsidy amount to be actually paid be determined only after the “settlement of the amount” procedure, which is conducted after completion of the project?
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.
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.
When is the date of subsidization decision ?
The date of subsidization decision is still uncertain at this moment. After the selection results, we plan to make the decision to grant the subsidy promptly as soon as the submission of the application form for grant and the adjustment with PMO are completed.
General Question regarding Projects
Is it possible for the entities with partial proposals to request the concerned organizations to provide necessary information to implement the project by compiling input and output information?
We assume that the subsidized entity and the concerned organizations will share the information by the compilation of input and output information. If necessary, PMO will cooperate in coordinating between them, etc.
What should we do when it’s difficult to describe input and output information in detail at the time of the submission of proposal?
For the proposal, you can draw it up as your planned basis.
Regarding the gathering domestic and overseas wisdom in “3. Operation of research and development” , it says that it is important to be validated and reviewed objectively by third parties such as academic societies, etc. and such validation and review must distinctively be placed in the development plan or be set as a milestone. Is it necessary to write down the determined contents on the proposal?
For the proposal, you can draw it up as your planned basis.
On-site demonstration might significantly be delayed because of the situation of the site. In the case, how should the implementing entity cope with?
When an entity expects a delay of the implementation, please inform PMO of it as soon as possible. We would consider how to cope with.
When foreign currencies other than Japanese Yen are used for this project, how will the exchange rate be determined?
For the exchange rate, if the subsidized entity has an in-house rule of exchange rate, it can be applied. Otherwise, the basic exchange rate of Japanese currency of Bank of Japan will be used. Please be noted that the subsidy can be paid only in Japanese yen after the determination of the amount.
Regarding “3. Operation of research and development  Cooperation with decommissioning activities and other research and development”, it says that the information on implementation of the project must be shared with and offered to PMO and the concerned organizations in a timely and appropriate manner so as to contribute to the decision making on the method of fuel debris retrieval, etc.. Is the information requested from PMO?
PMO may also request the necessary information. When information on the implementation of the project is obtained, the subsidized entity must also present them in a timely and appropriate manner.
Are the deliverables of the subisidized entity a report?
As it is described in “3. Operation of research and development  Progress report “, you are required to report the project results, etc. to PMO on request.
Describing the subcontractor (outsourced or commissioned entity) in the Implementation Organization Chart, if it is adopted, will the special contract order of the subcontractor be approved?
For reasons of financial efficiency, in principle, subcontractor shall be subject to general competition or it is necessary to prepare a statement for selection stating clearly the reasons for selection. So, sole-source procurement cannot be accepted only by specifying the subcontractor’s name.
How do applicants set the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) ?
Please set the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) by yourself considering the technical details of your proposal.
Regarding “1. Purpose of Project”, it says “the results obtained from this project will be utilized for the engineering activities conducted by TEPCO”. Can we share necessary iniformation on TEPCO’s engineering after the adoption？
It is possible to exchange information with Tokyo Electric Power Company after the start of the project. PMO will make coordination as necessary.
Regarding “3. Operation of research and development (5)”, it says “PMO and other concerned entities”. Which concerned entities do you refer?
The entities are the Agency for National Resources and Energy, Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation, Tokyo Electric Power Company.
Regarding “3. Operation of research and development (5)”, it says that a Non-Disclosure Agreement must be concluded, as necessary. When is it necessary?
In the case of information exchange between operating entities, this is when one or both business operators require a confidentiality agreement. If necessary, the secretariat will make adjustments when entering into a confidentiality agreement.
In “7. Requirements Conditions for Grant Decision (5)”, it says that in the case of transactions exceeding 1 million yen, the name of the contractor must be included in the project implementation scheme, but what are the eligible costs here?
In “11. (1) Classification of Expenses Covered by Subsidy”, the eligible costs are as follows.
Expenses for raw materials, consumables, design/fabrication/processing, facility/equipment(except for items corresponding to equipment expenses and rental and hire fees), research, outsourcing, other necessities (except for items corresponding to meeting expenses and assistant personnel costs).
Is it possible to give the interim and final report meetings and the the presentation materials for report meetings in English?
It is possible to give a presentation and the materials for report meetings in English.
Although it is described in the Grant Policy for Subsidy, Form No. 3, 8. as “Take measures to ask the other party of the contract for the cooperation on nessecary inspection to conduct the Subsidized Project properly”, should I take any specific measures?
As a general rule, please specify in the contract when placing an order that you will cooperate to the survey and not consider an entity which is subject to suspension of grant as the other party of the contract.
What is the responsibility of the Subsidized Project Operating Entity if it is discovered that the contents described in Form No. 3 of Grant Policy were not observed?
Investigation or hearing will be conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. If the resulting judgement falls under Article 18 of the Grant Policy for Subsidy “(3) the Subsidized Project Operating Entity has engaged in fraudulence, negligence, or any other inappropriate conduct with respect to the Subsidized Project”, the grant will be canceled.
Regarding the Project “Development of Analysis and Estimation Technology for Characterization of Fuel Debris (Development of Estimation Technology of Aging Properties of Fuel Debris)”
Is it good to recognize that aging will surely occur?
Aging of fuel debris has not occurred in TMI-2. However, aging has occurred in Chernobyl, and debris has become dust. It is also one of the purposes of this project to clarify the boundaries of whether aging will occur or not. Therefore, it is also an outcome of this project that no aging has occurred.
What is the temperature setting, when preparing the simulated debris?
There was a power outage at the accident of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. Therefore, temperature data was not recorded, and it is unclear to what degree the temperature has risen. In this project, it is important to prepare fuel debris with uniform composition. Therefore, prepare simulated debris by raising the temperature to such extent that such debris can be simulated. The Operating Entity should choose the heating method.
Although it is described in “2. Project content (1)” as “Dissolution behavior varieties depending on dissolved oxygen concentration in water, hydrogen peroxide concentration, pH, and temperature.”, should these items such as dissolved oxygen concentration and temperature, etc. necessarily measured?
(1) Development and implementation of test methods to identify phenomena that may contribute to the aging of fuel debris: Could the PMO specify what the following means: “fuel debris shall be heated until a uniform melt is obtained”?
There are various methods which could be used to obtain a uniform melt. On the other hand, there will be heterogeneity in melted debris from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station which will contribute significantly to ageing. Should the Operating Entity prioritize achieving uniformity of the fuel debris rather than replicating the conditions under which real fuel debris from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station was formed?
Normally, simulated fuel debris is created by mixing the powder of UO2, FeO and ZrO in specific proportions and heating. If heating is insufficient, there is a possibility that not all dissolves. If the powder remains without being dissolved, it cannot be determined whether the powder found after the examination was generated by the examination or the sample itself is bad. So, “uniform” do not mean to make the composition uniform, but to dissolve enough not remaining powder.
What is the expected nitrogen/oxygen composition on the conditions of the task (2) Comprehensive Aging Forecasts for Fuel Debris at Fukushima Daiichi NPS? If the ratio of atmospheric conditions (iii) – nitrogen/oxygen = 78/20, then what do “nitrogen atmosphere (low oxygen concentration)” in (ii) and “nitrogen atmosphere” in (i) mean? Is there a specific concentration of oxygen required in (i), (ii), and (iii)? If not, is the Operating Entity expected to develop and justify the concentration of oxygen in (i), (ii), and (iii) as part of the subsidized project?
About (ⅰ), it assumes composition in current PCV. So, nitrogen/oxygen = 100/0 because PCV is charged with nitrogen.
About (ⅲ), in the future, when containing the fuel debris, it will be an air atmosphere. So, nitrogen/oxygen = 80:20.
About (ⅱ), when retrieving the fuel debris, it is planned to be negative pressure inside the PCV in order to prevent the dust from scattering. If negative pressure is maintained, it will be an air atmosphere in PCV. However, as hydrogen will be generated by radiolysis of water, it is considered to continue to be charged with nitrogen in order to avoid the hydrogen explosion. It is not decided how much nitrogen PCV will be charged with, and it is unclear what percentage of oxygen concentration will be when nitrogen is injected while remaining PCV negative pressure. But it is considered that oxygen concentration will be between 0% and 20%. Please set the mixing ratio of nitrogen/oxygen by yourself.
If dissolution in task (2) (ii) occurs under conditions of water cooling, the concentration of oxygen in water is more important than the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere. In such a case, is it possible to combine the conditions of (i) and (ii) into one task?
It is not possible to combine the conditions of (i) and (ii) into one task. Please conduct the test with each condition. Oxygen concentration in-air and in-water is important when considering the oxidation and elution of materials. When oxygen is reduced in water, oxygen in air is dissolved in water to equilibrate depending on oxygen partial pressure in air. If oxygen is dissolved in water, electrical potential of water rise and elution of metal ions is promoted. So, it is important whether oxygen is present in air. Please measure oxygen concentration in-air and in-water in this project.
In (1) it is stated that “Samples with varying zirconium contents, considered to enhance fuel debris stability, shall also be prepared”.
If the concentration of Zr|ZrO is lowered, is there any preferred option to replace it with? For example, we can replace the concentration of Zr|ZrO with UO2, in order to study in greater detail, the matrix stabilization effect created by Zr. Another example: we could use Fe (presumably, there will be more Fe in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station debris than in TMI-2 debris?).
The description of the Guidelines is intended to want entity to study the influence of the content rate of Zr on the fuel debris stability because Zr may be a factor in the stability from the experience of TMI-2. So, it is not the purpose to create a stabilized sample by mixing several elements. About the simulated fuel debris, Zr should be added because a cladding tube include Zircaloy, and Si should be added because percentage of Si of the fuel debris in Chernobyl was about 40%, and Fe should be added because the surrounding structural material is made of stainless steel. So, when creating simulated fuel debris, the base of such debris is U-Zr-Si-Fe-Ca-O. Please investigate and decide by yourself whether the composition should be changed among these six elements or elements that have less influence on aging should be added to a matrix.
In the Guidelines it is stated that the Operating Entity will need to study the dependence of the influence of degradation factors (oxidation + contact with water) on the concentration of oxygen in water, on the concentration of hydrogen peroxide and on temperature. As TENEX understands, this requirement is related to dissolved oxygen (hydrated molecules of O2). The concentration of dissolved oxygen in the near-surface layer of water may change due to various causes: a change of the absorption of oxygen from air it comes into contact with, a change of the pressure, a change of the condition of the water by the turbulization, a change of the water by mineralization, etc. As there are many factors related to the concentration of dissolved oxygen as stated above, is it possible to provide us an exhaustive list of factors related the change of the concentration of dissolved oxygen that the Operating Entity should study?
It is not possible to provide an exhaustive list of factors because such list has not been created. In Guidelines for applying, the type of data to be acquired in the test is indicated, but we want the entity to consider the influence factor on the data. It is considered that influence factors depend on environmental conditions, so please investigate based on environmental conditions which is described in (2)(i)(ii)(iii). If you understand that concentration of dissolved oxygen is changed by many factors, it is better to propose a test including the method of minimizing the effect on dissolved oxygen concentration and the method of focusing those factors.