Originally published TheTimes.co.uk
When Lady Judge was made chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority six years ago, ministers handed her an unappealing brief.
“Hold and fold” was the name of the game, a shorthand way of saying Barbara Judge should shut down the state-owned atomic group with the least possible fuss and cost.
The strategy made sense. Nuclear power was regarded as a backwater and the government was dismantling all its remaining interests. The model was British Nuclear Fuels (BNFL). Once a flagship that ran the UK’s decommissioning programme and owned Westinghouse, one of the world’s top makers of nuclear reactors, it was being quietly broken up and its constituent parts sold.