Rosatom has decided to merge two of Russia’s key nuclear institutes – the AI Leipunsky Institute of Physics and Power Engineering (IPPE) in Obninsk and Research Institute of Atomic Reactors (NIIAR) in Dimitrovgrad, Ulyanovsk Region, IPPE said on 10 February.
NIIAR Director General Alexander Tuzov told a panel discussion dedicated to the Day of Scientists, that there was no cause for concern. The merger had reportedly been under consideration for a long time but became a concrete proposal late last year.
It is assumed that NIIAR and IPPE will maintain their identities after merging to become the Research Centre for Nuclear Technologies (CNT).
The two Rosatom institutes will have a common research and production programme and a consolidated budget, which will be approved at the annual meeting of a Coordination Council, the supreme governing body of CNT.
The Coordination Council will include representatives from the institutes' shareholders, the institutes themselves and the scientific community, including the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR) in Dubna and Russian Academy of Science institutes. JINR is an international intergovernmental scientific research organisation wich currently has 18 member states.
“This association should complement the institutions, strengthen their strengths, strengthen the weak ones, create for them an environment conducive to the mutual donation of competencies, knowledge and skills,” said Alexander Tuzov, who will head CNT.
There are significant reforms ahead, but the expected synergistic effect of cohesion should more than offset the effort. An open system is being built, and there are no technical obstacles preventing other Rosatom institutes from joining, and work is underway in this direction.