Thematic priority - Other activities in the field of nuclear technologies and safety of the specific framework programme for the European Atomic Energy Community within the multi-annual framework programme 2002-2006. Cooperation at European level, including the exchange of scientists and common research programmes, is already well established in this field. In respect of nuclear waste, radiation protection and other activities, this is being intensified and deepened at programme and project level in order to make better use of resources (both human resources and experimental facilities) and promote a common European view on key problems and approaches, in accordance with the needs of the European research area.Links are being established with national programmes and networking promoted with third countries, in particular: USA, the Newly Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (NIS), Canada and Japan. In the case of fusion, the Community, the Member States and Countries Associated with the activities covered by the Euratom Framework Programme are continuing to work within the framework of an integrated programme of activities.To support European Union policies in the fields of health, energy and the environment, to ensure that European capability is maintained at a high level in relevant fields not covered by the thematic priorities and to contribute towards the creation of the European Research Area._ Research to evaluate the potential of innovative concepts and develop improved and safer processes in the field of nuclear energy, focusing on:- concepts and processes for the generation and exploitation of nuclear energy that have been identified as offering longer term benefits in terms of safety, environmental impact, resource utilisation, proliferation resistance or diversity of application._ Support to better integrate European education and training in nuclear safety and radiation protection. Aiming to combat the decline in both student numbers and teaching establishments, and thus providing the necessary competence and expertise for the continued safe use of nuclear energy and other uses of radiation in industry and medicine, this support will focus on: - Development of a more harmonised approach for education in nuclear science and engineering in Europe and the implementation of this approach, including better integration of national resources and capabilities. This will be complemented by support for fellowships, special training courses, training networks, grants for young research workers from the NIS (New Independent States) and CEE (Central and Eastern European) countries, and trans-national access to infrastructure. A further step will be to initiate a common analysis of the future European Union needs in the mid-term in terms of human resources, competencies and experimental tools._ Safety of existing nuclear installations to improve safety in existing nuclear installations in Member States and candidate countries during their remaining operational lifetimes and subsequent decommissioning. Making use of the considerable knowledge and experience gained internationally from experimental and theoretical research, this will focus on: - plant management including effects of ageing and fuel performance; - severe accident management, including the development of advanced numerical simulation codes; - integration of European capabilities and knowledge from practical decommissioning; - developing scientific bases for safety and best practice at a European level.The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the specific programme. All research activities carried out under the specific programme are to be in compliance with fundamental ethical principles. The specific programme is implemented by means of instruments. The rules for participation apply to the specific programme. The Commission has drawn up a work programme for the implementation of the specific programme, setting out in great detail the objectives and scientific and technological priorities and the timetable for implementation and the instruments to be used. The work programme takes account of relevant research activities carried out by the Member States, Associated States, European and international organisations. It is updated where appropriate.For the purposes of implementing the specific programme the Commission is assisted by a consultative committee. The members of this committee can vary according to the different subjects on the committee's agenda. The Commission regularly publishes reports on the overall progress of the implementation of the specific programme, including information on financial aspects. The Commission arranges for the independent monitoring and assessment of the activities carried out in the fields covered by the specific programme.In order to implement the specific programme, and in accordance with the Council Decisions concerning the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community, the Commission uses various instruments and evaluates the proposals in accordance with the evaluation criteria. The indirect RTD actions implemented in the area of thermonuclear fusion - and in the framework of contracts, agreements or legal entities to which the Community is a party or of which it is a member - conform to the rules which have been established for them, in conformity with the Regulation on the rules of participation._ InstrumentsProjects are to be carried out on the basis of procedures set out in: - contracts of association;- the European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA);- any other multilateral agreement concluded between the Community and associated organisations and/or legal entities which may be set up, after the competent consultative committee has given its opinion;- other contracts of limited duration, in particular with bodies in the member states or the states associated with the Euratom Framework Programme;- international agreements covering projects carried out in the framework of cooperation with third countries. The activities to coordinate and support fusion energy research may concern: - studies in support of these activities; - support for information exchange; - recourse to external expertise capacities, including for the independent evaluation of activities; - fellowships and training schemes; - publications and other actions to promote technology transfer.