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Specific Programme 2002-2006 for research and training to be carried out by the Joint Research Centre by means of direct actions for the European Atomic Energy Community.

The Joint Research Centre (JRC) carries out its mission to provide customer-driven scientific and technical support for the conception, development, implementation and monitoring of EU policies. It serves the common interest of the Member States while being independent of special interests, private or national.

The 6thFramework Programme for 2002-2006 (FP6) contains a Specific Programme for actions to be carried out by the JRC. The JRC's contribution to FP6 incorporates recommendations of recent evaluations of the JRC and requirements necessitated by the reform of the Commission.
In particular, it includes:
- Strengthened user-orientation.
- Networking activities to create a broad knowledge base and, in the spirit of the European Research Area (ERA), more closely associate Member State laboratories, industry and regulators in the science and technology (S&T) support provided to EU policies.
- The concentration of activities on selected themes, including training of researchers to maintain nuclear expertise in the EU and its associated member states.

Coordination will be assured with the indirect actions under the Euratom specific programme.

In its domains of competence, the JRC's contribution will aim at establishing synergies with the relevant thematic priorities in the other specific programmes. This will be done in particular through participation in the indirect action in order to add value when appropriate (e.g. through the comparison and validation of tests and methods or the integration of results for policy-making purposes).
Further information on the 6th Framework Programme is available on the CORDIS FP6 Web service at the following address:
The JRC's activities in the nuclear area aim to support related Community policies and specific Treaty obligations entrusted to the Commission.
The principal objective will be to further develop collaboration through networking, leading to broad consensus on a range of these issues at European and global level. The application of Safeguards by the Euratom Safeguards Office (ESO) and the IAEA requires R&D support and direct assistance. Special attention will be paid to cooperation with future EU Member States. Training activities will be an important component for the JRC to help equip the EU with a future generation of scientists with high level nuclear skills and expertise.

Main areas of research activity will therefore be as follows:
- Radio-active waste management and safeguarding nuclear materials;
- Safety of the different types of reactors, monitoring and metrology in the field of ionising radiation.

Radio-active waste management and safeguarding nuclear materials

_ Spent fuel and high level waste treatment and storage.
- Spent nuclear fuels and radio-active waste treatment and management;
- Investigation of the basic processes governing the behaviour of irradiated fuel;
- Testing and evaluation processes to improve the efficient separation (partitioning) of radiotoxic elements from spent fuel;

_ Nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation.

- Direct support to the inspectorates (ESO and IAEA) and operators and carrying out research to prepare for future demands;

- Development of environmental monitoring, satellite monitoring, and innovative data and information management systems;
- Transfer of the technological 'acquis communautaire' in the safeguards area to the candidate countries;

Safety of the different types of reactors, ionising radiation monitoring and metrology

_ Safety of the different types of reactors
- Supporting safety authorities and nuclear plant operators by networking on ageing, damage detection, in-service inspection and structural integrity assessment;

- Developing a common safety culture in Central & Eastern European Countries, including operational safety measures and plant upgrading, structural integrity, accident prevention and management.;
- Mechanical and chemical interactions at the fuel/cladding interface and on fuel behaviour at high burn-up;
- Analysis and evaluationof safety features of the different types of energy production systems, currently under investigation in several countries.

_ Ionising radiation monitoring and metrology
- Research into the protection of citizen and the environment against the effects of ionising radiation;
- Nuclear safety and safeguards, ionising radiation monitoring according to the Treaty, and the measurement of ultra low levels of ionising radiation;
The programme is implemented during the period 2002-2006. The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the Specific Programme.

The Commission shall draw up a work programme for the implementation of the specific programme, which will set out in greater detail the objectives and priorities, the timetable for implementation and the implementation arrangements. The work programme shall take account of relevant research activities carried out by the Member States, associated states, European and international organisations. It shall be updated when appropriate.

The Commission reports regularly on the overall progress of the implementation of the Specific Programme. In particular, it assesses whether the objectives, priorities and financial resources are still appropriate to the changing situation. Where appropriate, it submits proposals to adapt or supplement the Specific Programme 2002-2006.

The Commission produces an annual report on the activities of the Joint Research Centre. These reports are sent to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee.

The programme should be implemented in a flexible, efficient and transparent manner, taking account of relevant needs of the JRC's users and Community policies, as well as respecting the objective of protecting the Community's financial interests. The research activities carried out under it should be adapted where appropriate to these needs and to scientific and technological developments.

The JRC should implement the research and training activities carried out by means of direct action, in particular the tasks entrusted to the Commission by the Treaty. The Commission should undertake the tasks incumbent upon it in the area of nuclear fission, making use of the technical expertise of the JRC. In the implementation of its activities, the JRC will, whenever appropriate and feasible, participate in or organise networks of public and private laboratories in the Member States or European research consortia in the support of the European policy making process. Particular attention shall be paid to cooperation with industry, especially with small and medium-sized enterprises.

Research bodies established in third countries may also cooperate on projects between the Community and the third countries concerned. Particular attention will be paid to cooperation with research laboratories and institutes in countries of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Accompanying measures include:
- visits of JRC staff to national laboratories, industrial laboratories and universities;
- promotion of mobility of young scientists;
- specialised training with the emphasis on the nuclear expertise and nuclear safety;
- visits to JRC institutes of visiting scientists and seconded national experts;
- systematic exchange of information;
- independent scientific and strategic evaluation of the performance of the projects and programmes.