In the 1970s, the need for better cross-frontier contact and communication became increasingly obvious to many in the anti-nuclear and safe energy movement. The idea of a newsletter of some kind came up regularly at all the meetings. In November 1977, some 70 people met in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the project.
Many of them signed a “declaration of intent” about setting up a “World Information Service on Energy – WISE”.
A preparatory group organized a founding meeting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in February 1978. Nearly 200 people attended, and WISE was formally established. In May 1978 the first issue of the WISE Bulletin, a bimonthly magazine in several languages, was published. The WISE News Communique (only available in English) was also published, initially as a collection of press releases. Sometimes just two pages, sometimes five or six, it was mailed out as and when needed, not on a regular basis. From 1984 through 2002, the WISE News Communique was published on a regular basis: 20 issues a year. In 2002, the News Communique merged with the NIRS Nuclear Monitor; the Monitor is still published 20 times per year.
But WISE became more than just a newsletter-publishing organization and the originators of the famous “smiling sun” on the “Nuclear Power, No Thanks” buttons and stickers that were eventually produced in nearly every language in the world.
WISE has actively campaigned to close Dutch nuclear reactors; participated in just about every major European action on nuclear power in the past 25 years; successfully worked, with NIRS, to keep nuclear power out of the Kyoto climate change Protocol; organized a drive to encourage green power in the Netherlands; and much more. WISE “Relay” offices were established across the globe.
With the formal affiliation of NIRS and WISE in 2001, the “Relay” offices have become part of a growing international network that can effectively take on the increasingly globalized nuclear power industry.