A legislatively created board in Virginia met for the first time this week to promote nuclear power in the commonwealth.Earlier this year, Virginia passed a law creating the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority "for the purposes of making the commonwealth a national and global leader in nuclear energy and serving as an interdisciplinary study, research and information resource for the commonwealth on nuclear energy issues."In advance of the Governor's Conference on Energy, its 17-member board met in Richmond Tuesday to begin its work forming a non-profit corporation and selecting projects. According to a report in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, board members suggested initiatives that included establishing a joint research reactor facility, expanding craft worker training, updating the nuclear power section of the state's energy plan and promoting Virginia's nuclear capabilities. The paper noted that Virginia already hosts offices for a number of civilian and military nuclear businesses that include Babcock & Wilcox, Areva and Newport News Shipbuilding, as well as the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility and four power reactors operated by Dominion. The commonwealth is also home to significant uranium deposits and has recently debated lifting a longtime ban on uranium mining.
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