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Research and training programme (Euratom) in the field of remote handling in nuclear hazardous and disordered environments (TELEMAN), 1989-1993

Part of the Community's Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (1987- 1991) under subactivity 5.1.: "Fission: nuclear safety".

This first Community programme in this field collaborates with other Community programmes, including BRITE, COMETT, the decommissioning of nuclear installations (DECOM 3C), ESPRIT, EURAM, SCIENCE, the storage and management of radioactive waste (RADWASTOM 4C), and MAST. There is also collaboration with other international R&D programmes, such as ESA/ES TEC and EUREKA.

The inherent radioactivity of nuclear plants makes remote handling essential for the conduct of nuclear operations on an industrial scale. While the safety of nuclear installations and the protection of their environment depends on operators being able to inspect, maintain and repair plant when necessary, human exposure to radiation must be kept as low as reasonably practical. The tele-operators used in this context are mechanical arms to which a variety of tools and sensors can be attached, manipulators connected to movable gantries and partially autonomous specialized vehicles.
To enhance safety and profitability in the field of nuclear fission, particularly as regards accident management and decommissioning, by reinforcing the scientific and engineering base upon which the design of nuclear remote handling systems is based, by generating an industrial awareness of the potential of computer-assisted tele-operators and by creating a pool of firms able to exploit the advanced robotics involved.
Four areas :

- Tele-operator component and subsystem development:
Sensors, perception and decision-making systems, information transmission and engineering for tele-operator mobility and dexterity in nuclear environments;

- Environmental tolerance:
Adaptation of sensors and electronic hardware to nuclear environments and the development of machine monitoring systems and design strategies facilitating the repair or recovery of stranded machines;

- Research machine projects:
Development of tele-operators that respond to the demands of the nuclear industry for enhanced safety, including intelligent manipulators, cranes and mobile platforms;

- Product evaluation and studies:
Testing and evaluation by end-users of the practicality and reliability of the products of the programme and studies concerning the application of new technologies, guidelines and standards in this field.
The Commission, assisted by the Management and Coordination Advisory Committee (CGC) on Nuclear Fission Reactors and Safety, Safeguards and Fissile Materials Management, is responsible for implementing the programme by means of shared-cost contracts, study contracts, coordination projects and the award of training and mobility grants.

The Commission distributes information packs in all the Community languages to accompany the invitation to participate in order to guarantee equal opportunities for undertakings, universities and research centres in the Member States. Shared-cost projects should, where appropriate, be carried out by participants from more than one Member State. The participation of small and medium-sized enterprises is encouraged. Contracts and grants are awarded, where appropriate, following a selection procedure based on calls for proposals. The Community may bear up to 50% of total expenditure or, where universities and research institutes are involved, up to 100% of the marginal costs.

Contracts concluded by the Commission govern the rights and obligations of each party, in particular arrangements for the dissemination, protection and exploitation of research results.
Information resulting from implementation of the shared-cost activities is made accessible on an equal basis to all Member States.

During the third year of implementation, the Commission will review the programme and submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council. It will subsequently submit a final evaluation of the results achieved.