Peter Wilson was born in Nottingham, England, in 1936. After education at Nottingham High School, where he changed course from classics to science because he couldn’t get on with Greek, he gained an open scholarship to St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, to be taken up after National Service (1955-57) in which he was a radio mechanic at the SHAPE military headquarters near Paris. At Oxford he gained first-class honours in chemistry, then took a PhD at Leeds University.
In 1964 he was appointed to a research position at the nuclear reprocessing site at Sellafield in Cumberland (the north-western corner of England), then operated by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Agency (UKAEA) of which the relevant division became British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) in 1971. He remained there until retirement in 2001, mostly working on process chemistry development. For the last dozen years he was chiefly concerned with certain aspects of long-term waste management and related strategic issues, helping to form the company technical policy thereon and presenting its rationale in international discussions. He was also the technical member of a team representing the UK in gaining acceptance of an extension to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to cover a possible loophole. His book "The Nuclear Fuel Cycle" (Oxford University Press, 1996) has become the standard text on the subject. Following his retirement, BNFL set up and financed a "Peter Wilson Medal and Prize" for research and communication, to be awarded annually at Leeds University.
He still lives in Seascale, a coastal village near to the Sellafield site. An interest in amateur dramatics goes back to the 1960s and for 40+ years he has been an active member of the society based in Gosforth, the next village inland. His collection of stories, plays and film scripts along with some factual material may be found at www.peterwilson-seascale.me.uk.
Where to find Peter Wilson online
Skiddlethorpe and other stories
A dozen mostly light-hearted 2000-word stories on varied themes – humour, whimsy, calamity, sentiment, skulduggery, retribution, reparation, shadows of the past – with some narrative threads between them and an occasional touch of the shaggy dog.
On Wings of Song
Two choirs, run by former friends now bitter rivals, are compelled to co-operate, leading to involvement with the murder of a Russian businessman and discovery of a mistake as the original cause of the leaders' quarrel.
A whimsical exercise in paradox and duality with a touch of mystery and a hint of the paranormal thrown in.
Exit, pursued by a bear
In 1980s Prague, Tony is mistaken for an emissary to dissidents by security chief Placek who sends Anna to infiltrate his household. She refuses later orders and Placek reluctantly denounces her. Later, disgusted by new instructions, he himself wishes to defect but needs Tony's help for his assistant Elena to escape. Tony objects but Anna persuades him to agree and that all should be friends.
The Jester's Daughter
A romance between a castle servant girl in the 1430s and the page of a visiting bishop falls foul of social conventions, while one in the family of present-day occupants is imperilled by misunderstandings. Both are linked by a portrait of the girl that has somehow survived the intervening centuries and seems connected with the resolution of both difficulties.
A collection of short sketches and one-act plays. The subjects vary - a son leaving home, a sense of menace in a rural scene, the mystery of a cruise passenger's identity, consequences of accidents, matrimonial complications, unscrupulous journalistic malpractice, a fatal jealousy - but the tone is mostly light-hearted and conflict usually ends in reconciliation.
Pebbles from a Northern Shore
A baker's dozen of stories, some very short, some quite long, of times past, present or possible future, ranging from an imagined childhood, through adolescence and maturity, to old age, death and beyond. Mostly optimistic and
light-hearted though with an occasional touch of the weird or macabre.
Inheriting a property in the Targhee forest involves an English mechanic in recovering information crucial to the rescue of a long-kidnapped American engineer, supporting his young widow after a fatal accident in Vienna, and unmasking a highly-placed traitor in the US administration.
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