Grigory Trubnikov, “This is the most important stage in Institute’s life”

Interview, 06 October 2022

On 29 – 30 September, the 132nd session of the JINR Scientific Council was held. JINR Director Grigory Trubnikov made a report, and the draft of the new Seven-Year Plan for the Development of JINR for 2024-2030 was presented for the first time. Grigory Trubnikov commented on the session and shared the way the members of the Scientific Council welcomed the new document.

This session of the Scientific Council is very important for our Institute, because we have presented not a concept, but a concrete development plan for the Institute for the years from 2024 to 2030. This was a crucial stage in the Institute’s life and it was important for us to ensure that the Seven-Year Plan was discussed comprehensively. This has been achieved despite the fact that due to external circumstances and geopolitical turbulence, for our colleagues and long-standing partners from some countries, participation in the Scientific Council session today is a demonstration of a particularly responsible approach to their membership in the JINR Scientific Council. It shows that these countries are interested in our scientific programme and do not want to remain detached from plans for further development of the Institute.

New Scientific Council members from Mexico, China, and Vietnam, elected by the Committee of Plenipotentiaries at the end of May, also attended today’s meeting. There were guests of honour at the session – a large Vietnamese delegation led by the Ambassador of Vietnam to Russia, including the VINATOM President, the largest atomic energy institute in Vietnam, the President of the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology, and the new Vietnamese Plenipotentiary to JINR. We have just finished a very interesting discussion meeting. Vietnam is ready to increase its participation in the Institute, the country is interested in projects in the fields of nuclear physics methods and technologies. Vietnam is ready to engage in active personnel training. The country is on the rise of economic development, with a large gradient. Vietnam is one of the founding states of the Institute, and of course, we are happy to step into the future together with our Vietnamese colleagues.

Although the Scientific Council session itself was not easy, it made an impression on me as a very positive one. This is because during the last eight to nine months this year we have had such an abundance of good, strong, serious scientific results that it is amazing, especially when you consider the external circumstances and the fact that we have not yet fully overcome the COVID… In general, the Institute is demonstrating an amazing capacity for work.

I had over ninety slides from the laboratories in the first variant of the report. Each laboratory has outstanding results produced in Dubna, the Member States, and other countries, that we can be proud of and are happy to share it with the global scientific community. All of them were obtained through international cooperation. They include excellent new measurements at the Kalinin Nuclear Power Plant, two new clusters at the Baikal Neutrino Telescope. About twenty-five neutrino event candidates have already been received, which we are now checking with our colleagues working in Antarctica on IceCube and in the Mediterranean.

Results at the NICA Complex are also great. Capital construction is almost completed. We have assembled two arches, almost two hundred metres of the collider and are starting to assemble the experimental straight sections, the MPD detector… Life at the Laboratory of High Energy Physics is very busy and, at the same time, while the Scientific Council is holding its session, another run at the Booster and the Nuclotron is taking place. Cooling began a week ago, and next week we will start working with a heavy ion beam, adjusting it for the first stage of the launch of the Baryonic Matter at Nuclotron collaboration’s physics experiment.

FLNR has prepared totally unique experiments on the synthesis of element 110 darmstadtium. For the first time ever, data have been obtained in a hot fusion reaction with calcium-48. It has a minimal cross section and this experimental data is priceless for starting work on the synthesis of element 120.

At the Laboratory of Neutron Physics there is a great variety of interesting research in the fields of fundamental nuclear physics, clarification of cross sections of new isotopes, energy characteristics. In my opinion, experiments both with archaeologists studying artifacts of distant history and with biologists studying the ecology of Lake Baikal are quite interesting. Studies of meteorites have shown their elemental composition with a high degree of accuracy. A new breakthrough approach to improve the effectiveness of beam radiation therapy for cancer is patented at the Laboratory of Radiation Biology.

There are excellent publications on the account of theoretical physicists. It is interesting to look at such a variety of experimental data and theoretical studies, all of which are focused on the Institute’s objectives as much as possible. Theoreticians are engaged in many topics – superheavy element fusion, the neutrino programme, and condensed matter physics. Radiobiologists, as they say, knock on the door, wait for the applied research programme to begin at the NICA complex, and prepare equipment so that biological materials can already be examined at the VBLHEP site.

In general, we demonstrate to the world that the Institute is by no means faltering. No, we work with pleasure, excitement, flat out. Thus, willingly or unwillingly, we show the world that participation in the work of such an international institute as JINR is not only a huge benefit for the Member States, but also a source of vital inspiration for those scientists who take part in the research programmes of the Institute.