Awarded to Tessella Limited (suspended as per SF 01185262)

Start date: Monday 2 November 2020
Value: £100,000
Company size: large
Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM)

Upgrade Radiological Accident Fault Assessment (RAFA) tool for simultaneous users on cloud (RWM349)

1 Incomplete application

0 SME, 1 large

3 Completed applications

1 SME, 2 large

Important dates

Monday 3 August 2020
Deadline for asking questions
Monday 10 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Monday 17 August 2020 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
RWM requires a SQEP project team to upgrade its existing safety case fault assessment software. The upgrades are necessary to prepare the software for deployment to a cloud environment, and include ensuring support for simultaneous user access and the appropriate authentication protocols. Deployment and user-acceptance testing are also in scope.
Latest start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Expected contract length
Expected to be 3 months must be completed by February 2021.
No specific location, for example they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
Radioactive Waste Management Ltd (RWM)
Budget range
£50k - under £100k (Excluding VAT)

Pricing (20%) scored as follows:
Provide an hourly rate card for each role and grade and map each member of the proposed team to their rate. Calculate a nominal price assuming 1000 hrs worked with ratio 10% project manager, 35% lead developer, 35% developer, 20% tester. If the team doesnt include a second developer, the lead developer should account for 70% of the total hours worked. The project manager and lead developer roles must each be assigned an individual, a mix of grades may be used to deliver the developer and tester roles.

About the work

Why the work is being done
RWM is a subsidiary of the UK Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). RWM's mission is to deliver a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for radioactive waste. RWM maintains an Operational Safety Case (as part of its Disposal System Safety Case) comprising the claims, arguments and evidence for the safety of operating a GDF. RWM uses the Radiological Accident Fault Assessment (RAFA) software application to perform quantitative assessments of potential fault conditions in GDF operations. As RAFA assessments form part of the evidence base of the Operational Safety Case, it is important to maintain and improve the capability.
Problem to be solved
RAFA is currently installed on a standalone laptop due to the prior unavailability of a suitable cloud platform. NDA has recently established a private cloud, provided by a third party, that is suitable for the deployment of RAFA. RAFA requires upgrading to ensure its suitability for the target environment, including simultaneous user access and support for user authentication with the private cloud's user management services. Secondary targets for improvement are the representation of assessments within RAFA as resources, a code library update and minor corrections to text displayed in the user interface.

A software upgrade is required by February 2021 to allow RWM to deploy the system in-year to a cloud service. Intellectual property rights for the system reside with NDA
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a safety assessor, I need a capability to perform the quantitative elements of my assessment of plant fault conditions; for each assessment, I need select data sets in a manner that conforms to an appropriate data model, preview my assessment results and submit the assessment to a safety case owner for review. As a safety case owner, I need several of my assessors to run assessments simultaneously; I need to review the inputs and outputs of a their assessments, approve or reject them, and mark each one as either challenging or not challenging the safety case.
Early market engagement
RWM has engaged the original developer of RAFA to clarify the steps necessary to deploy RAFA to the private cloud environment. The findings of this engagement are that a working build of the extant RAFA software needs to be revalidated, additional testing must be undertaken to probe the behaviour of the software during simultaneous use by multiple users, and the authentication protocol needs to be replaced to enable user access in the private cloud environment.
Any work that’s already been done
RAFA is an ASP.NET Core web application. It is currently installed on a standalone Linux laptop whereby it supports multiple, but not simultaneous, users with authentication provided by the laptop's operating system. Its development was based on a set of requirements which are, together with the user acceptance tests, held in an IBM DOORS Next database. Formal requirements will not be defined for any new functionality however as agile development is now preferred. The existing requirements and user acceptance tests will remain in DOORS but can be exported to other systems to suit developers' preferences.
Existing team
The Contractor will be expected to work closely with RWM's safety case team who will attend sprint meetings and ensure developments reflect the outcomes required under the Contract. The RWM team comprises a product owner and a software development technical adviser.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
This Contract will be managed by RWM's Nuclear Safety team out of its offices in Harwell, Oxfordshire. During the Contract RWM expects to hold sprint meetings approximately every two weeks near to one of its offices at Harwell or Warrington. The Contractor should be able to attend such meetings in person or, while government COVID-19 advice continues to recommend home working, remotely by teleconference with screen sharing. On-site working by the Contractor in RWM's offices is not required, nor available; the Contractor is expected to supply their own development environment.
Working arrangements
The Contractor should provide a project manager and a suitable development team. The development team is to include one lead developer and at least one tester, with additional developers and testers included at the Contractor's discretion. The Contractor's systems must be certified to Cyber Essentials Plus standard. An agile methodology should be followed with sprint meetings held approximately every two weeks. At each sprint meeting the Contractor should demonstrate progress and agree goals for the next sprint.
Security clearance
Prior to any work commencing:
The lead developer must hold Security Check (SC) level clearance or higher.
All staff working on this assignment must hold the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) or higher level clearance.
Cyber Essentials Plus is required for the Contractor IT System Used for Development.

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions
All source code, documentation and other deliverables produced under this contract (the Project-specific intellectual property IPRs) shall be marked “© Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, YEAR” by the supplier in a header or title page to indicate NDA/RWM’s ownership of this material. This does not apply to third-party components, including open-source third party libraries, which NDA/RWM has given permission to use in deliverables.

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Development of scientific or engineering software for use in high hazard industries.
  • Project management for agile software projects.
  • Web application development using ASP.NET Core and the Kestrel web server.
  • Use of RESTful APIs for web services.
  • Use of the MariaDB relational database with Entity Framework Core for web applications.
  • Use of React and Bootstrap for user interface development.
  • Use of Docker for containerisation in web application development.
  • Use of microservices architectures in web application development.
  • Use of the OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) standard for documentation.
  • Capability to establish an IPSEC site-to-site VPN configured against National Cyber Security Centre guidelines.
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Use of IBM Engineering Requirements DOORS Next (previously called IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation) to manage software requirements and acceptance tests.

How suppliers will be evaluated

All suppliers will be asked to provide a written proposal.

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Introduce the proposed team and explain how each team member maps to the role(s) of project manager, lead developer, developer(s) and tester(s).
  • Demonstrate that the proposed project manager has sufficient experience of managing agile development of scientific or engineering software.
  • Demonstrate that the proposed development team has sufficient experience of developing ASP.NET Core web applications that target Linux servers.
  • Demonstrate that the proposed development team has sufficient experience of working with relational data in MariaDB databases using Entity Framework Core.
  • Demonstrate the proposed development team has sufficient experience of working with Docker and containerised ASP.NET Core web applications.
  • Demonstrate that the development team has sufficient experience of editing documentation in the OASIS Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) standard.
  • Explain how you would establish and validate a working build of the extant RAFA software before undertaking further development work.
  • Explain how you would investigate the operability and performance of RAFA under simultaneous use by multiple users, and how you would identify and implement appropriate improvements and fixes.
  • The authentication protocol in RAFA must be replaced. Explain how you would work with RWM's private cloud provider to understand the requirements and develop an AD FS based authentication solution.
  • Explain how you would identify and resolve any other challenges in upgrading RAFA to a network-ready version.
  • Explain how you would improve RAFA so each assessment and its data can be called up by the user (or another application) without navigating through the UI to find it.
  • Explain how you would demonstrate incremental changes to RAFA to facilitate feedback from the RWM team.
  • Propose how you would support the RWM team to complete acceptance testing in the private cloud environment.
Cultural fit criteria
  • Please describe how the PM and lead developer will exercise leadership to ensure that the product meets the user needs and provides value for money.
  • Please describe how the proposed team will communicate with RWM personnel to provide an accurate picture of progress and project risks, and to resolve problems and uncertainties.
Payment approach
Time and materials
Additional assessment methods
  • Case study
  • Work history
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

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