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development > listening post

“The world
needs a bouquet of
energy sources”

Everything about her especially her outfit. was because they wanted a woman to fill the position. While Qataris earlier had said that they were not interested in nuclear energy. “A stable political climate.” she says. Her tryst with the Middle East began seven years ago. a rich country that can afford to build and maintain a nuclear power plant. which doesn’t change much around the year.” Lady Judge believes very strongly in equality in the workplace. they are now considering the benefits from QATAR TODAY > APRIL 2015 > 39 . [but] because they have a brain. Member of the UAE Advisory Board for the Development of Peaceful Nuclear Energy. ticking off the conditions needed for a country to pursue nuclear energy. After completing two terms she was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Tepco Nuclear Reform Committee and Chairman of its Task Force on Nuclear Safety. it is also clean energy and specifically nuclear energy. they should use it and they should earn their own money. The Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation. Saudi Arabia. with 16% of the world’s proven oil reserves and being the largest exporter of total petroleum liquids in the world. according to Lady Judge. not any of that. it is deliberate.” Seven months later. once they are there. One reason she was hired. “Men are uncomfortable around women and why dress in provocative outfits when you need them to listen to what you have to say?” she asks. Oil and gas is not forever. Hays & Handler in 1978. Now Abu Dhabi is in the process of building a nuclear power plant and Lady Judge is on the Advisory Board. especially in corporate boardrooms. “Things are changing.” But gender balance in the industry is not the only subject that excites Lady Judge. She also believes that Qatar has the right conditions to pursue nuclear energy. “You cannot go wrong with that. has started to think of nuclear power plants.Lady Barbara Judge CBE has strong views on subjects ranging from nuclear power to gender equality in the oil and gas sector. the Arab women’s culture of dressing – the black abaya – resonates with her. high-collared. Lady Judge was in Abu Dhabi and met the ruler there. divorced or single. Half a decade later. a strong and enlightened leadership. stiff white shirt. encouraging women to enter the workplace and. Plans are on for the following three units to be completed in 2018.” Lady Judge recounted her career highs and some roadblocks faced and scaled in an era when women professionals were rare. and her white blonde hair tucked into a stern bun at the nape of her head. she still believes in the quota system: “You need to first get onto the ladder in order to climb to the top.” Speaking at the Gulf Intelligence Women in Energy Summit held last month in Doha By Sindhu Nair on “Historical Setting – One Woman’s 50Year Journey. became its Chairman in 2004 and was reappointed in 2007. to give a talk on clean energy. she says. when she was last in Doha. She started her career as a corporate lawyer in 1969 and became a partner at Kaye Scholer. push the boundaries. Money is independence and they should be independent. who expressed an interest in nuclear energy. “And the naysayers scoffed at my statement.” And in that sense.” she says. I f Lady Barbara Judge. she recounts.” she says. In 2002 she was appointed as a Director of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority. “I want men to be so bored with my outfit that they have to focus on what I am saying. high education levels and an intelligent press that can comprehend and report the truth to make the general public aware of the process and the safety measures. is resolute. Fierman. all because of the simple wisdom passed on to her by her mother: “Women should work not because they are poor or alone. She had then predicted that the Middle East countries are best suited for nuclear power projects because these countries meet the conditions necessary to initiate this form of renewable energy. “I predicted then that sooner or later the GCC countries will have nuclear energy. looks formidable in her customary dark suit. 2019 and 2020. Unit 1 is expected to provide electricity to the grid by 2017 and will be the first one in the region.

There was a very serious accident at Fukushima but. it needs oil. Turkey. Vietnam. and they are the ones who need to be convinced about the safety aspects of radiation. with all nuclear power plants shut down. being in close proximity to Emirates Nuclear Energy Plant and Saudi Arabia (when it will build its own reactor). the 40 > QATAR TODAY >APRIL 2015 NUCLEAR ENERGY FACTS AS OF JANUARY 21. China. She even has her own insights on the ongoing antagonism for nuclear energy projects: “The problem in America.development > listening post this source of energy as their neighbours are strongly pursuing it. the UK is now building three power plants. consumers and security. What you really need is a combination. There are also talks of having a regional power plant. But what about solar energy. Poland and Hungary are also in the process of discussing prospects. Lady Judge debunks another myth: Even though the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March of 2011 was a disaster of epic proportions. and I feel that’s the best way to go. “Educating the masses through movies and public shows. the food supply is safe and people are starting to move back into their homes and most of the other nuclear plants in Japan are considering a restart. India and Finland. “It demonstrates how wrong it is to turn away from nuclear energy. “It should be a mixture of all sources of energy.” she says. Predictions aside. “I strongly believe that Qatar with a knowledge-based economy has all the conditions for nuclear energy to thrive.” says Lady Judge. 2015 IN 3I 439 COUNTRIES NUCLEAR POWER PLANT UNITS WITH AN INSTALLED ELECTRIC NET CAPACITY OF ABOUT 377 GW 69 ARE IN OPERATION AND PLANTS WITH AN INSTALLED CAPACITY OF 66 GW I6 ARE UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN COUNTRIES. which brings along with it a number of negative consequences for its economy. Climate change is another factor that makes nuclear energy lucrative. Germany is now buying nuclear energy from neighbouring France and gas from Russia.” “Solar is an excellent source of energy in conditions that are favourable but it is still a top-up source of energy. “It is all a political decision in Germany. Germany is a perfect example. “Any country that aims at having energy security or energy independence would need to have a bouquet of energy sources. The problem arose because people had to be evacuated from their homes. by joining workforce. According to a survey done some time back. There may be days when there is less sun or still air.” she says. When this source of energy fails you could find yourself in darkness.000 people dead and over 300. “Abu Dhabi is doing it the right way. Parts of the world at large seem to be against nuclear power as a source of energy.” she clarifies. are all building nuclear power plants. “They have the risk anyway. as a result of the renewed trust shown by the people. no one died due to the radiation. It is also burning coal and its carbon emissions are going up. Today. contrary to the hype and fear. it is necessary for every country to have a diversified energy mix. Credit: IAEA support for nuclear power appeared to have bounced back in the UK after falling slightly in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster and. Education is vital according to Lady Judge and it is only through enlightening the masses that the message of nuclear energy can be spread. states Lady Judge. France and UK is that it is highly educated women who are the most vocal against nuclear energy. it needs gas.” .” she says.” she says. Now there are even more countries pursuing or building nuclear energy plants than there were before the Japan mishap.000 homeless. The country has gone from being an energy exporter to an energy importer practically overnight. As the Deputy Chairman of the Tepco Nuclear Reform Committee and Chairman of its Task Force on Nuclear Safety. Lady Judge feels that having a woman representative from outside the country is symbolic of the change that Japan is undergoing currently. talk shows at schools and galleries. it needs renewables for people to feel good about carbon emissions and it needs nuclear energy. education and resources. Korea.” she says. the most abundant source of energy in the desert region? Doesn’t it seem more practical to opt for this renewable source than an option that comes with its own set of risks? Which source should a country lean towards in this scenario? “There is no choice.” she emphasises.” But it is also not true that the world is losing its nuclear energy supporters after the Fukushima incident. Nuclear is a baseload energy source. it was these natural disastesr that left over 15.