Virginia Loves Nuclear But Hates Uranium. Why? via Energy Collective

Virginia may be the only state in the U.S. with a law creating a public-private partnership structure whose mission is to strengthen and promote its nuclear energy and technology industries.

There are two components of the partnership, the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority (VNECA) and the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium (VNEC), which is a private, not for profit corporation that is answerable to the authority. The VNECA Board composition was defined by statute to be composed of the following:

1 – Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
2 – VA Economic Development Partnership
3 – VA Community Colleges System
4 – VCU
5 – UVa
6 – VT
7 – GMU
8 – Two other universities appointed by Governor: Currently Christopher Newport University and George Washington University
9 – Six business entities located in VA appointed by Governor: Currently
— Dominion,
— Newport News Shipbuilding,
— B&W (BWXT)
— Bechtel
— Flowserve
10 – One non-profit appointed by Governor: Currently ANS
11 – One federal research agency appointed by Governor: Currently Jefferson Lab

The authorizing legislation passed with little opposition in early 2013, and the VNECA hosted the first of a series of meetings that October.


McAuliffe: ‘I Love Nuclear’

He then recounted a conversation with Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) that some of my fellow Virginians (and Americans) might find a little incredible.

Cohen: I was with the governor on Monday morning [Dec 7] at a conference. He says, “Oh yeah, nuclear in Virginia. That’s critical. That’s important. I love nuclear. I wish we had 100% nuclear. What can I do to help?” It’s the governor. He’s ebullient. But you know what, he will help.


Adams: One of the things that I’ve worked on over the last cou- ple of years is helping people understand that mining uranium is a useful and vital part of our industry and that people who try to make it out as a health issue are harming the prospects for the rest of us.


Cohen: I’m familiar enough with it; I’ve lived in Virginia for a long time so I’m familiar enough with a little of the history. But in all of the nuclear stuff that I’ve done for the last 12-13 years, I’ve not really dealt with mining issues per se.

But I did a lot of work in New Mexico on uranium enrichment and am aware of the mine history and legacy and all of the issues that come at us even though we weren’t involved in that.

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