Skip to main content

Virginia's Energy Plan

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has just released his state energy policy, and while the media coverage doesn't talk much about the role of nuclear energy, our old friend Lisa Stiles says in a note that the details of the report are another story entirely:
The article in the Times Dispatch doesn't talk much about nuclear other than the issue of uranium mining, but if you go through the actual plan (PDF) there is plenty of discussion. All in all I'm impressed with this Democratic governor's embrace of nuclear as one of Virginia's core energy assets, though there are a few lines here and there that rankle me (operational costs [for] nuclear are higher than solar and wind?).
Interesting stuff. Again, click here (PDF) for a copy of the plan.

Comments

Anonymous said…
the story probably doesn't discuss nuclear much beyond uranium because the Virginia energy plan says that any new nuclear plants built in the state would be outside the 10-year time horizon of the plan, and hence are not considered in the plan.
Lisa Stiles said…
That's true, but nuclear is discussed extensively throughout the document in sections like Ch 2 on Energy Resources (where the "core strength" quote is), Ch 4 on Energy Infrastructure, Ch 6 on Energy R&D, and there is a recommendation related specifically to nuclear.

I would have thought that if they read the report the media would pounce on a statement like:

"Virginia has unique assets in the nuclear industry that provide an opportunity for it to be the leader in nuclear energy."

I'm lovin' it!
Lisa
Rod Adams said…
I think that there were several writers for the report, some of whom might not have talked to each other. For example, on page 49 under the heading of Role of New Technologies, there is the following sentence: "Near term generation options include clean coal, solar, wind, nuclear, and waste and biomass."

Also, on page 18, under the heading of Nuclear Infrastructure, there is the following statement - "New nuclear energy production is not expected to come on line over the ten-year term of this Plan. However, a new nuclear power plant may be under construction during the term of this plan and come on-line shortly thereafter."

As Lisa has pointed out, there are a number of places where Virginia's unique nuclear assets are mentioned. The report is quite clear about the value of developing those assets in a time of growing interest in nuclear power around the world. As a potential customer of that Lynchburg cluster that is mentioned, I think that is great news.

In the all important Executive Summary, however, there is the following statement - "New nuclear power generation, hydrogen, methane hydrates and ocean power are beyond the ten-year scope of this plan." I would bet a nice chunk of money that the Executive Summary was written by a shy PR type who advised a more cautious stance than the actual report.

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Why America Needs the MOX Facility

If Isaiah had been a nuclear engineer, he’d have loved this project. And the Trump Administration should too, despite the proposal to eliminate it in the FY 2018 budget.

The project is a massive factory near Aiken, S.C., that will take plutonium from the government’s arsenal and turn it into fuel for civilian power reactors. The plutonium, made by the United States during the Cold War in a competition with the Soviet Union, is now surplus, and the United States and the Russian Federation jointly agreed to reduce their stocks, to reduce the chance of its use in weapons. Over two thousand construction workers, technicians and engineers are at work to enable the transformation.

Carrying Isaiah’s “swords into plowshares” vision into the nuclear field did not originate with plutonium. In 1993, the United States and Russia began a 20-year program to take weapons-grade uranium out of the Russian inventory, dilute it to levels appropriate for civilian power plants, and then use it to produce…

Nuclear Is a Long-Term Investment for Ohio that Will Pay Big

With 50 different state legislative calendars, more than half of them adjourn by June, and those still in session throughout the year usually take a recess in the summer. So springtime is prime time for state legislative activity. In the next few weeks, legislatures are hosting hearings and calling for votes on bills that have been battered back and forth in the capital halls.

On Tuesday, The Ohio Public Utilities Committee hosted its third round of hearings on the Zero Emissions Nuclear Resources Program, House Bill 178, and NEI’s Maria Korsnick testified before a jam-packed room of legislators.


Washingtonians parachuting into state debates can be a tricky platform, but in this case, Maria’s remarks provided national perspective that put the Ohio conundrum into context. At the heart of this debate is the impact nuclear plants have on local jobs and the local economy, and that nuclear assets should be viewed as “long-term investments” for the state. Of course, clean air and electrons …