Pete Wilkinson appointed as new Director of Nuclear Information Service

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Pete Wilkinson

The Nuclear Information Service Board of Directors is delighted to announce that Pete Wilkinson has been appointed to the post of Director for the organisation.

The Director is responsible for leading and managing Nuclear Information Service (NIS) and Pete's role will be to ensure that NIS continues to undertake ground-breaking research and provide information that highlights the costs, risks, and environmental impacts of the UK's nuclear weapons programme.

Pete Wilkinson co-founded Friends of the Earth UK and Greenpeace UK in 1971 and 1977 respectively and was Campaign Director for Greenpeace UK between 1977 and 1986. He ran what one journalist described as “some of the most high profile and successful campaigns of the 1980s”, including campaigns which ended the sea dumping of radioactive waste in the Atlantic Ocean and led to a dramatic reduction in the levels of radioactive waste being discharged into the Irish Sea from the Sellafield nuclear complex. In 1985, he led the first of six Greenpeace expeditions to Antarctica which resulted in a 50 year ban on mining and the designation of world park heritage status on the continent.

More recently, Pete has been a member of the government's Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM), advising on options for the long-term management of radioactive waste, and a founder member of Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates - an independent group of experts providing information and advice on the risks posed by radioactive waste.

Pete Wilkinson said: “This is an exciting time to be joining Nuclear Information Service.  There is a good chance that, after the next election, the UK will decide to significantly downgrade its nuclear weapons capability, and I want to be able to play a decisive role in making this happen”.  

Trish Whitham, Chair of the NIS Board of Directors said: “Pete has an amazing track record of campaigning against the dangers of the nuclear industry and in promoting environmentally-friendly alternatives.  His more recent work in advising the government has been invaluable in helping us to deal with the unwelcome legacy of radioactive waste left behind by the nuclear industry.  Pete is just the kind of leader and catalyst for action that we want to take the helm at Nuclear Information Service as we move towards the next election and a decisive phase in the debate on the UK's nuclear weapons”.

Pete will take up the post of Nuclear Information Service Director on 1 January 2014.  Peter Burt, who has been NIS's Project Director since 2009, will move to a new position in the organisation as Research Manager and lead our research and investigation programmes.  He will be working alongside Pete as Director for a handover period of six months.