From 19 to 23 November 2021 in Bansko and Sofia were held a meeting of the Financial Committee of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) and the next session of the Committee of Plenipotentiaries (CP) of the governments of the member states of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research. The work was attended by the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Agency Mr. Tsanko Bachiyski, who is the Plenipotentiary Representative of Bulgaria in JINR, the Director of JINR Acad. Grigory Trubnikov, other members from the management of JINR and officials. The report on the implementation of the budget for 2020 and the audit report to it were adopted, as well as new provisions related to the associated membership in the organization and the flag of JINR. The JINR budget for 2022 and the three-year budget forecast for the period 2023-2025 were approved. Information on the scientific activity of the institute in 2020 was provided. The efforts of the scientists related to the development of major research infrastructure projects such as: NICA project (Nuclotron-based Ion Collider Facility) – the most ambitious project of JINR at the moment, the accelerator complex DRIBs-III (Heavy Ion Accelerator Complex), the Baikal neutrino project, the IBR-2 facility (Impulse Rapid Reactor), as well as the JINR Multifunctional Information Computing Complex were approved. The admission of the Arab Republic of Egypt – so far an associate member of the organization – as a full member of JINR was unanimously voted. The official finale of the event was the final session of the CP, held on November 23, at which the President of the Republic of Bulgaria Mr. Rumen Radev was the guest of honor. Mr. Radev congratulated the participants in the session, emphasizing that international scientific cooperation and nuclear energy contribute to sustainable development and improving the quality of life. In his welcome address, the Head of State stated that for 65 years JINR has been continuously enriching the range of scientific research, expanding its scientific infrastructure and developing intensive international scientific cooperation. He also stressed that currently, 32 Bulgarian representatives from BAS, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Paisii Hilendarski University of Plovdiv and other scientific organizations from the country cooperate with the institute. He noted that holding this forum in Sofia is proof of the contribution of Bulgaria and its scientists to the activities of the institute. The President thanked all JINR program managers and mentors for their efforts, professionalism and dedication with which they train young people and preserve our scientific potential. At the final session, the Sofia Declaration on the Values of Development of International Scientific and Technical Integration was adopted. In the Declaration, the Member States agree to strengthen the further development of JINR as an international intergovernmental scientific organization, dissemination and exchange of JINR’s experience in organizing multilateral research and large-scale research projects based on JINR principles, which ensure a high level of and competitiveness of scientific results and integration with world science. The member states of the organization will strive to strengthen the role of JINR as a unique integration platform for the development of modern instruments in the field of scientific diplomacy, scientific education and intercultural exchange.
The work of the 65th regular session of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) ended with the adoption of resolutions in the field of nuclear safety and security, technical cooperation, nuclear science, technology and application of nuclear methods, improving efficiency and effectiveness of the system of Safeguards under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and others. Elections were also held for new members of the IAEA Board of Governors and for the organization’s external auditor. The budget of the Agency for 2022-23 was also adopted. In parallel with the session, the NRA Chairman Mr. Tsanko Bachiyski participated in the meeting of the Forum for Cooperation of Regulators and in the Meeting of the Senior Representatives of the Regulators for Nuclear Safety and Security. Representatives of the NRA also participated in several events accompanying the General Conference – a forum to discuss the new platform for small modular reactors /SMR/, organized within the framework of the IAEA, and a meeting on the challenges of licensing SMR.