I. General considerations
1. The Scientific Council takes note of the reports presented by the JINR Directorate on implementation of the recommendations of the Scientific Council, approved by the Committee of Plenipotentiaries, concerning the reform programme of JINR.
The Scientific Council reiterates its strong support of this important initiative and acknowledges the progress made so far within the reform programme in the areas of basic facilities, infrastructure and personnel policy.
2. The Scientific Council reiterates its support of the JINR Directorate's decision concerning the centralized management of the JINR basic facilities, which at present are IBR-2, Nuclotron, U400, U400M, computing infrastructure, and IREN, as an important element of the reforms. It highly appreciates the efforts taken by the Directorate in the current difficult situation to ensure a guaranteed scheduled operation of the basic facilities. It takes note, with satisfaction, of the close correspondence (about 90%) between the actual and planned running time achieved for the facilities in 1998, which has resulted in a significant scientific output.
3. The Scientific Council endorses the results of the internal re-examination of JINR research activities and projects conducted in 1998 as part of the preparation for the reforms in the scientific domain, undertaken by the Directorate with the help of two specially-established Internal Review Boards and generalized by the PACs at the November 1998 meetings. The Scientific Council recommends to extend the activity of the JINR Review Boards in 1999.
The Scientific Council approves the first proposals presented by the JINR Directorate in the re-examination process, in particular optimization of the Scientific Programme, while preserving all the 9 fields of its activities, active search of new non-budgetary sources, and obtaining a reasonable balance between the fundamental and applied research at JINR.
The Scientific Council welcomes the efforts of the Directorate to further streamline the scientific programme and to reduce a number of projects to achieve an optimal distribution of financial and human resources.
The Scientific Council regards as positive the Directorate's approach to consider each JINR research project as a main element of the JINR scientific programme in the future and make the JINR budget more transparent through the direct financing of specific projects.
The Scientific Council looks forward to being informed at its next sessions about the Directorate's further proposals in the field of scientific research, also about the progress of the whole reform programme.
II. First observation of element 114
The Scientific Council is greatly impressed with the results of the experiments on the synthesis of the superheavy element with Z=114 recently carried out by the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (USA) and unanimously congratulates JINR and its partners on this outstanding achievement which crowns 35 years of international research efforts.
III. Support of JINR
The Scientific Council acknowledges the strenuous efforts undertaken by the JINR Directorate and the staff to implement, under difficult financial conditions, the scientific programme of JINR and to further develop this international centre through the proposed course of reforms. The Council urges again the JINR Member States to fulfil their financial obligations.
Because of the unstable financing of JINR, the Scientific Council addresses a letter (Appendix 1) to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Ye. Primakov, expressing serious concern over the future of JINR as well as high appreciation of the Prime Minister's personal assistance in resolving the problems of the Institute in 1998.
IV. Recommendations concerning JINR basic facilities
1. The Scientific Council takes note, with satisfaction, of the efficient operation of the JINR basic facilities in 1998 and of the considerable improvement of their characteristic parameters.
2. The Scientific Council expresses its serious concern about the unsatisfactory situation with the development of the JINR basic facilities. The delays in the realization of IBR-2 modernization programme, of the IREN project and of the Nuclotron beam extraction system construction create a real danger for the implementation of the research programme. The Council strongly recommends that the JINR Directorate make all possible efforts for finding ways of providing the necessary support of these activities in 1999.
3. The Scientific Council strongly recommends that JINR telecommunication links, computing and networking infrastructure be considered as a basic facility receiving the necessary annual funding for continuous and reliable operation.
V. Considerations concerning the 3-year Scientific Programme
1. The Scientific Council, considering its role in the definition and evaluation of the broad lines of JINR's scientific programme, takes note, with satisfaction, of the progress in the implementation of the 1998-2000 Scientific Programme based on a rolling three-year plan of activities.
2. The Scientific Council approves the general lines of the proposed "JINR Scientific Programme for the years 1999-2001" and reiterates its standing recommendation that the highest emphasis should be put on the reliable operation of the Institute's present basic facilities.
3. Taking into account the proposals of the Directorate and the recommendations of the PACs, the Scientific Council endorses the following priority activities in 1999:
- completion of the Nuclotron beam extraction system and of external beam lines; continuation of the Nuclotron exploitation; experimental studies of quark and gluon degrees of freedom in nuclei and of spin effects at the LHE accelerator complex, also at the accelerators of other centres: SPS and LHC (CERN), RHIC (BNL), COSY (Julich) and CELSIUS (Uppsala); participation in the preparation of the HADES experiment at GSI (Darmstadt);
- construction of IREN, with a realistic schedule and an agreed financial envelope, with a view to its completion as rapidly as possible;
- upgrade of the IBR-2 reactor, with a view to securing the long-term future of this facility; development of instrumentation and data acquisition equipment for spectrometers at the reactor; continuation of the spectrometers' exploitation;
- synthesis of heavy nuclei near the region Z=114 using the Gas Filled Recoil separator and the upgraded VASSILISSA set-up, study of the fusion-fission reaction for weakly excited superheavy nuclei, study of the structure of light exotic nuclei and neutron correlations in them, research with beams of stable and radioactive ions using the FOBOS and MULTI detectors and the High Resolution Beam Line;
- continued participation in frontier particle physics experiments, amongst others at accelerators of IHEP (Protvino), CERN, DESY, BNL and FNAL; accelerator system R&D for the LHC (CERN) and linear colliders (TESLA);
- theoretical studies in particle physics and quantum field theory, nuclear physics, and condensed matter physics, also with a view to supporting experimental work in these fields;
- further development of JINR's telecommunication links and of JINR's computing and networking infrastructure.
4. The Scientific Council also recommends continuation with first priority of the JINR Educational Programme aimed at a higher inflow of young scientists to JINR and special-purpose training of specialists for the Member States.
VI. Recommendations in connection with the PACs
1. The Scientific Council takes note of and concurs, after due discussion, with the recommendations made by the PACs at their November 1998 meetings and presented by their Chairpersons.
PAC for Condensed Matter Physics
The Scientific Council endorses the recommendations of the PAC of Condensed Matter Physics:
- that 16% of the budget from the Member States arriving as cash-flow at JINR be immediately dedicated to Condensed Matter Physics after salary payments and thus contribute to the refurbishment of the IBR-2 reactor. This will provide a solid base:
- to guarantee the current exploitation of the IBR-2;
- to start immediately the study for the implementation of a new movable reflector;
- to install the cold moderator in 1999;
- to ensure the timely replacement of fuel elements.
- that the reactor power be reduced from 2 to 1.5 MW and the number of annual cycles be reduced from 10 to 8. This emergency scenario should be revised as soon as the budget situation allows it;
- that the idea to implement a "Dubna Electron Complex" based on the AmPS machine must be presented in more detail. The interesting possibility to create a synchrotron radiation source requires a comprehensive examination with realistic budget.
PAC for Particle Physics
The Scientific Council agrees with the PAC for Particle Physics that the list of projects proposed for execution by the JINR Internal Review Board is scientifically sound and can be accomplished within the nominal budget of the Institute. However, in view of the uncertain financial situation of JINR, the PAC will identify a list of core projects that should be supported with highest priority in the case of further budget reductions. As a guideline, the list of core projects will focus
(a) on projects where JINR has made particularly strong intellectual and financial investments in the past which need to be protected;
(b) on projects which are essential for the long-term scientific future of JINR.
PAC for Nuclear Physics
The Scientific Council agrees with the PAC for Nuclear Physics that the highest priority should be given to the completion of the IREN facility and to the development of the Radioactive Ion Beam project.
The Scientific Council calls for a detailed Radioactive Ion Beam project to be presented at the next meeting of the PAC for Nuclear Physics.
The following experiments highly ranked by the PAC should be continued with the best possible financing: search for superheavy elements, properties of nuclei far from the stability line, AnCor, NEMO, TGV and DUBTO.
The Scientific Council invites the Directorate to consider the possibility to allocate funds for beam time at the Phasotron for a limited number of already accepted experiments in order to complete them in good conditions in the forthcoming 2-3 years.
2. The Scientific Council appreciates the work done by the PACs on the re-evaluation of the JINR research projects in order to assist the Directorate in establishing the Scientific Programme.
VII. Recommendations concerning JINR's longer-range plans
The Scientific Council was presented with further reports concerning longer-range plans of JINR activities, and makes the following comments.
1. "Perspectives of nuclear power engineering in the 21st century including accelerator-driven reactors". The Scientific Council expresses its great interest in the new ideas of safe production of energy using subcritical assemblies and methods of waste transmutation. It recommends that JINR Laboratories continue some R&D activity in these directions supported from extrabudgetary sources.
2. The Scientific Council was informed of the JINR Directorate's initiative on the possible establishment of an Electron Accelerator Complex based on NIKHEF's AmPS. Since many questions were raised during the general discussion, the Scientific Council strongly suggests that this project should be presented at a joint meeting of the three PACs to be organized by the PAC for Condensed Matter Physics and should get their recommendations.
3. The Scientific Council wishes that the presentation of longer-range plans be continued at the next session.
VIII. Scientific reports
The Scientific Council followed with interest the scientific reports presented at this session and thanks the invited speakers: R. Brandt, V. Lobashev, Yu. Oganessian, V. Subbotin, and H. Vartapetian.
The Scientific Council heard with interest information on the recommissioning of the electron synchrotron at the Yerevan Physics Institute and of the resumption of its experimental programme. It appreciates the important potential of this facility in fostering scientific research and recommends continuation of the joint experiments with participation of JINR and member-state research groups.
X. JINR's prizes
1. The Scientific Council congratulates Professor V. Lobashev on the awarding of the 1998 B. Pontecorvo Prize, in recognition of his outstanding contribution to weak interaction physics.
2. The Scientific Council approves the Jury's recommendations on the JINR prizes for 1998 (Appendix 2).
The Scientific Council elected by ballot:
V. Brudanin, A. Kurilin and E. Syresin as Deputy Directors of the Laboratory of Nuclear Problems,
D. Kazakov and V. Voronov as Deputy Directors of the Bogoliubov Laboratory of Theoretical Physics
until the completion of the current terms of office of their Laboratory Directors.
XII. Next session of the Scientific Council
The 86th session of the Scientific Council will be held on 3-5 June 1999.
Chairman of the JINR Scientific Council