At its 2003 Annual General Meeting, Commission C12 of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) made a formal decision to establish an ad-hoc Committee on International Cooperation in Nuclear Physics (CICNP). The membership of CICNP was optimized, by inclusion of the Chair and Vice-Chair of C12, as well as the Chairs of NSAC and NuPECC and representatives of key laboratories world-wide. Considerable care was also paid to the geographic distribution of members, in order to ensure appropriate representation from the whole nuclear physics community.
The formation of this committee had been a topic of discussion within C12 since 1995 and perhaps even earlier. It was created to facilitate international cooperation within the nuclear physics community following the recommendations of the various committees that preceded it. The objectives of CICNP are:
To promote international cooperation in the broadest sense with the construction and exploitation of the large nuclear physics facilities - those which are intended for use by a worldwide nuclear physics community.
To organize meetings on a regular basis, which are open to all wishing to attend, for the exchange of information on future plans for new nuclear physics facilities, be it very large multi-disciplinary facilities or facilities intended to more regional use.
To stimulate the organization of workshops and/or symposia to discuss the future of nuclear physics and the need for facilities for the various subfields: high energy heavy-ion beam facilities, radioactive-ion beam facilities, multipurpose hadron beam facilities, high energy electron beam facilities.
It was also recognized that there was a need to discuss facilities which are clearly cross-disciplinary, like underground laboratories for particle, nuclear, and nuclear-astrophysics.
In accomplishing these objectives the committee was to document facilities under construction or being planned in terms of their anticipated performance parameters; to assess these anticipated performance parameters with regard to the requirements of the field; to evaluate the different facilities in terms of their complementarities and to indicate the areas of the field not covered but identified in the current science planning documents, like the NSAC Long Range Plan, the NuPECC Long Range Plan, and similar documents; and to recommend on the need for additional new facilities and for the expeditious use of the current facilities. The first Chair of CICNP, appointed by C12, was Anthony W. Thomas.
The creation of this ad-hoc committee was also presented at the IUPAP Council and Chairs Meeting in October, 2003. The IUPAP headquarters welcomed this proposal and suggested that it might become an official Working Group of IUPAP. This led to a formal proposal to that effect, which was approved at the October 2005 General Assembly in South Africa.