TWO-HUNDRED-AND-THIRTEENTH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL
5-6 October 2023
The President reported that, since the Council’s June Session, he had convened an informal meeting of the Member State delegations, on 29 August, relating to the Council’s decision making on the international cooperation agreements with the Russian Federation, Belarus and the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research (JINR). On 27 September, he had attended and given a talk to a meeting called "Future Colliders for Early Career Researchers" and had been pleased to witness the enthusiasm and engagement of the young people present, who represent the future of the field of particle physics.
The Director-General reported that CERN had played host to several high-level dignitaries in recent months, including the President of Chile, Mr G. Boric Font, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation of Brazil, Ms L. Santos, the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science of Ireland, Mr S. Harris, and the European Commissioner for Internal Market, Mr T. Breton.
She then looked forward to the ceremony for the inauguration of the Science Gateway on Saturday, 7 October, in the presence of the Council delegates and many other high-level dignitaries from the Member and Associate Member States including the President of the Swiss Confederation, Mr A. Berset. The Science Gateway is set to become CERN’s main vehicle for scientific education and outreach to people of all ages, from five years upwards, and was set to open its doors to the public on Sunday, 8 October. The first scientific event scheduled in the 900-seat auditorium will be a symposium, on 31 October 2023, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of neutral currents and the 40th anniversary of the discovery of the W and Z bosons.
The Council heard a report by the Chair of the Pension Fund Governing Board (PFGB), Mr Malmberg, covering the discussions and the decisions taken at the PFGB’s meeting on 21 September, the PFGB’s planned future activities, the key member and beneficiary administration data, the Fund’s investment performance for the year to date, which stood at +1.27% (nominal) on 31 August 2023, compared with an average performance of +3.34% for Swiss pension funds and a 3.7% target real rate of return, and the Fund’s five-year annualised performance, which stood at +3.25% compared with an average of +2.22% for Swiss pension funds.
NEXT GENERATION TRIGGERS PROJECT
The Council heard a presentation by the Director for Research and Computing, Professor Mnich, on the proposed Next Generation Triggers project aimed at enhancing the trigger and analysis capabilities of ATLAS and CMS in the High-Luminosity LHC (HL-LHC) era, and, on the recommendation of the Scientific Policy Committee and the Finance Committee, decided to approve the project.
PROPOSAL TO HOST AN OPEN QUANTUM INSTITUTE AT CERN AS A THREE-YEAR PILOT PROJECT
The Council heard a second presentation by the Director for Research and Computing, Professor Mnich, on the proposal for CERN to host an Open Quantum Institute as an externally funded three-year pilot project from 2024 to 2026, and, on the recommendation of the Scientific Policy Committee, decided to approve the project.
TERMS OF REFERENCE
Revised Terms of Reference of the CERN Scientific Policy Committee
The Council heard a presentation by the Chair of the Working Group on the Governance of CERN, Dr Bassler, and decided to approve the revised Terms of Reference of the Scientific Policy Committee., as set out in document CERN/SPC/1211/Rev.-CERN/3739/Rev., subject to one minor amendment proposed by the Chair.
REPORT ON NON-LHC EXPERIMENTS
The Council heard a presentation by the Director for Research and Computing, Professor Mnich, covering a new result from the ALPHA-g experiment at the Antiproton Decelerator, recent developments at the ISOLDE and n_ToF facilities and at the CERN Neutrino Platform, the prizes and awards received by members of the CERN Theory department in 2023, the status of LHC computing, completion of the CERN Library renovation, and the 2023 CERN–NASA Open Science Summit.
PRESENTATION ON LBNF/DUNE
The Council welcomed the Director of Fermilab, Dr Lia Merminga, who presented an overview of Fermilab’s facilities, personnel, scientific mission and technological initiatives and of Fermilab’s contributions to the LHC, HL-LHC and Future Circular Collider (FCC) activities, and gave details of the ongoing construction of the Long Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF) and of the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE) in the United States, with strong international collaboration notably from CERN and several of its Member States.
The Council heard a presentation by the Director for Accelerators and Technology, Dr Lamont, on the status of the HL-LHC project, covering the organisational structure and earned-value management status of the project, recent progress in the testing and production of the Nb3Sn inner triplet quadrupoles, the various Nb-Ti magnets and the crab cavities being built, and the status of the US accelerator upgrade project.
The Council then heard a presentation by Professor Mnich on the progress of the Phase 2 upgrades of the ATLAS and CMS experiments, relating notably to the high-granularity calorimeter and the inner and outer trackers of CMS, and to the inner tracking detector of ATLAS, and on the workshop with Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing, Engineering and Automation recently organised with CMS to discuss project management and to be organised for ATLAS in the near future.
The Council received updates from Dr Lamont on the status of the injectors, the availability and performance of the LHC during Run 3, the electrical incident that occurred on 17 July and the swift action taken to repair the resulting vacuum leak at Point 8 of the LHC, the ongoing heavy-ion run and the schedule for the remainder of Run 3.
Professor Mnich then gave a presentation describing recent results from the LHCb, ATLAS and CMS experiments, the start-up of the heavy-ion run from the perspective of the ALICE experiment and the good performance of the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid in 2023.
The Council expressed appreciation to all the teams involved in the work on the accelerator complex, the experiments and computing on the progress achieved and, in particular, to those who had contributed to the successful repair of the vacuum leak at Point 8 of the LHC in difficult conditions and under considerable time pressure, thus avoiding a major stoppage of the machine.
CERN’S THIRD ENVIRONMENT REPORT
The Council heard a presentation by the Head of the Occupational Health and Safety and Environmental Protection unit, Mr Delille, of CERN’s third Environment Report, covering the years 2021 and 2022, as set out in document CERN/SPC/1215/RA- CERN/FC/6715/RA-CERN/3752/RA, in which he outlined the strategy for minimising CERN’s impact on the environment, presented the various measures being taken in that context in the fields of greenhouse gas emissions, water management, ionising radiation, noise, biodiversity, land use and landscape change, and described the efforts being made to reduce energy/electricity consumption and improve sustainability.
FCC FEASIBILITY STUDY STATUS REPORT
The Council heard a presentation by the FCC Feasibility Study Leader, Dr Benedikt, on the latest progress made on the Study, covering the status of engagement with the municipalities in France and Switzerland situated along the planned path of the FCC tunnel, the ongoing preparations for site investigations and drillings in 2024 and 2025, communication actions including press releases and press visits, connections to the electrical grid and transport networks, FCC-ee optics, RF system, injector layout and transfer lines, adaptation of the FCC-hh to the chosen ring placement, and the status of the mid-term review of the Feasibility Study.
REVISED TIMETABLE FOR COUNCIL SESSIONS AND COMMITTEE MEETINGS IN 2024
The Council decided to approve the revised timetable for Council Sessions and committee meetings in 2024, as set out in document CERN/3698/Rev.2.
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The Council decided to approve a Management proposal for a modification to the geographical enlargement policy in order to permit the transition from Associate Membership in the pre-stage to Membership to regular Associate Membership in well-justified circumstances.
Council Working Group on the Governance of CERN
The Council decided to approve the considerations and recommendations of the Working Group on the Governance of CERN in part 2 of its report, relating to the “Functioning of the Council and its subordinate bodies”, as set out in document CERN/3746/C/Rev.
ELECTIONS AND APPOINTMENTS
a) Pension Fund - appointment of a new member and chair of the Pension Fund Governing Board
The Council appointed Dr Florin-Dorian Buzatu (Romania) as a new member and Chair of the Pension Fund Governing Board, for a first term of office of three years as of 1 January 2024.
b) Pension Fund - reappointment of two professional members to the CERN Pension Fund Governing Board
On the recommendation of the Pension Fund Governing Board, the Council reappointed Ms Joanne Segars and Mr Andreas Hilka as professional members of the Board, each for a second three-year term of office as of 1 January 2024.
c) Audit Committee: extension of the term of office of one expert member
The Council extended the term of office of Ms Ramona Bortnowschi as an expert member of the Audit Committee for an additional period of two years from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2025.
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