The former chief executive of Powergen has been named as the interim chair of the new Office for Nuclear Regulation.
Nick Baldwin will head up the organisation which will be an agency of the Health Service Executive and whose responsibilities will include ensuring the nuclear sector carries out its work safely.
Mr Baldwin has previously worked as interim chairman of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. The interim appointment is on a part-time basis and is expected to be for a period of two to three years, pending the successful passage of legislation to establish the regulator on a statutory basis.
The newly-formed regulator will overlook sectors including UK power stations and radioactive waste, the transport of materials and submarines and its staff will also regulate the security of civilian nuclear installations.
HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “Nick Baldwin has extensive board level experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors with substantial experience in governance, leadership, general management and strategic development.
“He has the skills and experience to lead ONR as it is established in its new form at this critical time. The safety of nuclear power is more in people’s thoughts now than it has been at any time for the last 25 years – ONR has an important job to do in ensuring that operators in the UK uphold the highest standards of safety.”
Mr Baldwin, who is a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology, said he was pleased to join the ONR as it starts the journey in becoming a new independent regulator for the nuclear sector.
He added: “I look forward to working with (chief nuclear inspector) Mike Weightman to create an organisation that delivers our mission of protecting people and society from the hazards of the nuclear industry.”
Mike Weightman said: “The ONR inherits an international reputation for excellence and a robust regulatory framework forged over more than 50 years, providing firm foundations from which to rise to the current and future challenges of the nuclear industry.
“Nick Baldwin and I will work together to build on that legacy. We aim to be world-leading, forward-thinking, and more open and transparent.”