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UAE Portrait of a Nation: The Emirati born to work in nuclear energy

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ABU DHABI // As both of Hasna Al Blooshi’s parents were in the energy industry it was perhaps natural that she too should eventually work in the field.

“My father served at the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Petroleum (Adco) for 40 years and my mother for 27 years,” she said.

“So I grew up in a house where we talked about science, technology and new projects that Adco was going through. We were always surrounded with energy professionals in the house, so we were so familiar with the industry because my parents were so involved in it,” said Ms Al Blooshi, 36.

“Working in the energy sector was not uncommon because it’s the language I was used to.”

It was the nuclear sector, however, not oil and gas where she ended up.

After acquiring a higher diploma in health information management at the Higher Colleges of Technology, Ms Al Blooshi went on to work at the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company while studying for a bachelor’s in health information management in the evenings.

She worked for Adnoc’s medical services for almost six years, then moved to the Health Authority Abu Dhabi’s regulatory sector for another six years.

When the UAE launched its nuclear programme she was keen to get involved.

“I then moved to the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), which was an exciting thing.”

She felt she brought a new dimension to her energy-orientated household.

“It wasn’t a fear — it was the excitement because the energy programme was new and diverse,” she said. “It was different and I got to talk about something different at home so that was exciting.”

She moved to the Nawah Energy Company, the operating firm of the Barakah nuclear power plant, as the director for nuclear performance improvement.

Her role involves making sure any conditions that affect quality are instantly resolved.

“Any issues on the power plant, we log it, fix it, analyse it and find corrective actions to close those gaps and monitor them so that they don’t reappear,” she said.

“We want to make sure we have diversity in energy and this is 100 per cent supporting the vision of our country and what we are working towards.”

She believed nuclear power would hugely benefit the UAE.

“It makes a huge difference to our country,” she added. “You have to say what’s in it for me, if I can make sure my country is one per cent better, then that makes a daily difference.”

Ms Al Blooshi has her hands full, also raising three children aged four, six and eight, at the same time.

“My husband is a big supporter of my job,” she said. “He also works in the energy industry in oil and gas so we speak the same language, except his energy programme is different than mine but the theories are similar so we learn from each other’s experience.”

Her family and friends are equally supportive.

“My brothers and sisters wanted to work with me,” she said. “I explained to my friends how nuclear is used in health care, and to generate electricity for sustainable energy as well as how it is one of the diverse energy resources that we can utilise in our country to reduce our dependency on our oil and reduce our carbon emissions.

“It really leads to meaningful conversations and it was exciting because it’s the challenge and the drive. I am very passionate about trying to breakthrough those challenges so having those candid conversations was great.”

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(via The National)