At the meeting of the JINR Science and Technology Council

Organization, 29 December 2017

At the meeting of the JINR Science and Technology Council that was held on 27 December 2017 chaired by R.V. Jolos, reports on the two JINR basic projects were considered: the Factory of Superheavy Elements and the NICA complex. The reports were delivered by Director of the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions S.N.Dmitriev and Director of the Veksler and Baldin Laboratory of High Energy Physics V.D.Kekelidze.

At the beginning of the meeting, JINR Director V.A.Matveev honored E.A.Kolganova, Scientific Secretary of JINR STC, Senior Scientific Researcher, the JINR commemorative honorary medal “For Services to Science and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research” for her great contribution to organization and successful work of the JINR Science and Technology Council.

S.N.Dmitriev started his report by saying that all elements discovered in Dubna have their names for the first time during 30 years of intensive research, and their inauguration held in 2017 in Oak Ridge, USA, and in Moscow showed that acquired results are among the most brilliant achievements of our time. Director of the laboratory demonstrated major stages of the Factory of Superheavy Elements development – construction of a new experimental building, the DC-280 cyclotron mounting aimed at the synthesis of new elements, preparation of the area and technological systems the new accelerating complex is equipped with. These are really sophisticated and challenging tasks in which specialists of JINR Chief Engineer’s Office, Capital Construction Department and other JINR Offices and Departments are involved along with the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions staff. Assembling of the accelerator will be completed in December and then the system testing and preparation to launching will be started. We are to work a lot with Rostekhnadzor and FMBA to get approval documents for launching and running of the accelerator. Preparation and conduct of first experiments are planned for November 2018.

At the recent Session of the Committee of Plenipotentiaries of the Governments of the JINR Member States, at which S.N.Dmitriev also delivered the report, work of the laboratory’s staff and partners was highly appreciated. R.V.Jolos, V.A.Matveev, Yu.Ts.Oganessian who participated in the discussion of the report at the STC meeting. In their comments, they paid attention to cooperation with external organizations and, at large, highly appreciated activities of the laboratory aimed at fulfilling major tasks.

V.D.Kekelidze in his progress report on implementation of the NICA project named the main objects of basic configuration of the NICA complex which are included in wide spread of work held at the territory of VBLHEP under the agreement with the RF Government and other Member States. The accelerating complex, the operating modernized Nuclotron, the booster, the Injection Complex, the experimental zone, two storage rings with two cross points of the collider are under development. The MPD, BM@N detectors and the NICA Centre that will include a computing centre are being established apart from the accelerating complex. Having touched upon the Nuclotron operation schedule, the reporter explained the reasons of delaying the December run. The reason was a cable breakdown and need of urgent maintenance of the accelerator.

The reporter demonstrated an impressive sketch of a new centre and then touched upon development stages of each of the mentioned objects; he reported on attracting specialists and organizations from Russia, CERN, Germany, China, the Czech Republic, and other countries to participate in the project. He noted that more and more young specialists from the JINR Member States join the project, students of Warsaw University of Technology, in particular, as far as they defended their theses following the materials acquired during their training course on the basis of the NICA in VBLHEP. The defense took place at the anniversary session dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Maria Skłodowska Curie. Furthermore, the list of such participants is expanding. By way of conclusion, V.D.Kekelidze noted that establishment of the accelerating complex, engineering infrastructure, experimental facilities is underway due to the plan. Cooperation with China and other countries is developing. Thanks to governmental targeted financing of the project, the construction of the NICA complex will be finished on time.

M.G.Itkis, V.A.Matveev, Yu.Ts.Oganessian and I.N.Meshkov posed questions and made comments.

Following the presentation by Yu.Ts. Oganessian: Recently, we came to Vladimir Dmitrievich at the laboratory to see, firstly, the developments in the field of linear accelerators. However, he showed us even more. As a result, the excursion took an hour and a half. I would strongly advise everyone who has not been to the laboratory to visit it. We enjoyed our visit a lot. Launch of this complex will become an important stage of the Institute’s history. Regardless of all facilities, we have in other laboratories, we will acquire the instrument of a new quality that will demand working out and affirming of a new scientific programme in Russia and other Member States. We are ready to consider this issue at the upcoming meeting of the Council on Heavy Ion Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Following the presentation by I.N. Meshkov: I would like to speak about something pleasant at this New Year meeting of STC to enter 2018 in a good mood, that is why I will not talk about problems of the project. Vladimir Dmitrievich explained in detail that the detector has a complex design, but the accelerating part is not easier in its construction. I believe that our results and achievements of our colleagues from FLNR about which Sergey Nikolaevich Dmitriev told us would not exist without JINR Director and JINR Directorate’s participation.

In 2006, when I started to work at the NICA project, the main problem was to decide who would manage it. It was just like during the World War II when unexperienced pilots joined the army and gained experience there. Those who survived became professionals. The same is true (but fortunately everyone survived) in the years of work at the accelerating part of the NICA project: a strong team has been established whose experience broadens at a fast pace. Today, I believe in NICA freshmen who have become really good specialists. The other side of the problem was that we managed to attract our colleagues from Russian institutes, and we all know them – the Budker Institute, ITEP, INR, as well as our scientists from abroad. Just a week ago, a three-party teleconference took place between Fermilab, INP and JINR. Contribution made by their specialists is significant and priceless for us because due to their experience and knowledge we are making such considerable progress. Now, three first fruits appeared at the NICA facility. The first one is a German linear accelerator Yury Tsolakovich mentioned. Then, in collaboration between ITEP, Snezhinsk, and JINR the LU-20 accelerating pre-injector was established. Finally, the electron beam via the electron cooling system appeared. First electrons began to run in the complex, and it is of great pleasure. We hope that we will make the same considerable progress next year.

Following the presentation by R.V. Jolos (irrespective to the reports from the agenda): I have attended sessions of the Scientific Council, the Finance Committee and the Committee of Plenipotentiaries for five years. There were a lot of them. At the beginning, it seemed that something may be shortened, or we may confirm a new standard due to which sessions will be held once a year. However, these international meetings became more and more interesting. I think it is the result of open attitude the JINR Directorate constantly follows. Moreover, I think I know the reason for it. Sergey Nikolaevich touched upon problems concerning construction of the building for the Factory. Vladimir Dmitrievich spoke about the cable breakdown at the Nuclotron in greater detail. Nothing can be done without a single mistake in such large-scale projects. I think that it “turned” the international community that comes to us in our favour. They can see our serious attitude to problems, how openly we discuss them. They respond similarly and do not hide their problems. Such an attitude of Directorate is of high importance.

Continuing the same discussion, V.A. Matveev started his report on Directorate activities addressing STC members with words: I agree with your view on STC work and I would like to add that it is the achievement of STC leaders. I hope that the need to discuss problems neglecting formality is recognized at both levels, the Institute’s Directorate and laboratories’ Directorate. It is highly useful. The wide range of issues was discussed. Sometimes, we may not fully implement all good ideas that have been developed. Solutions of staff problems offered by the commission that included Yu.Ts. Oganessian, D.V. Shirkov and other colleagues is an example. Nevertheless, it was a good start. Coming back to today’s meeting, I would like to add that consistent attention of STC to development of basic facilities, implementation of basic mega-projects, and discussion of obstacles to it is really significant.

Afterwards, JINR Director paid attention to the milestones of the year and tasks for the JINR staff to solve in 2018. The press conference with JINR Director for Dubna journalists was dedicated to the same topics.

Evgeny Molchanov, JINR Weekly Newspaper