Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority
The Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority (VNECA) has been established 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.
Under authority created by the legislature and signed into law in 2013, the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium (VNEC) was created to represent stakeholders invested in the development of nuclear energy. These stakeholders include the state of Virginia, institutions of higher education, nuclear energy companies, suppliers, and local organizations that support the advancement of the nuclear industry.
The Critical Role of Nuclear Energy in Virginia’s Economy
Virginia is a leader in clean energy production with nearly 32% of the Commonwealth’s power coming from zero emission nuclear power. Operating at more than 95% capacity, nuclear generation provides reliable, inexpensive electricity to Virginia consumers and helps keep our energy costs low, making Virginia a competitive location for existing and new business. However, that is only the beginning of the story of nuclear energy in Virginia’s economy. A recent preliminary economic asset survey, produced by the Authority, reveals:
- The nuclear energy sector is driving Virginia’s economy in every region, offering highly skilled jobs, supporting research and technology advancement and generating revenues at the state and local level.
- Dominion operates four nuclear units in Virginia: two at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, and two at Surry Power Station in Surry County. In addition to their substantial contribution to Virginia’s energy mix, these four units collectively employ more than 2,000 professionals at an average salary of more than $80,000 per year. These four units supply the majority of Virginia’s carbon-free electricity and are substantial economic drivers for their host regions.
- In October 2018, Dominion applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a 20-year license extension for its Surry nuclear power station and told the federal regulatory agency that it plans to operate the plant until 2053. The company has announced similar intention to file for extension of the North Anna nuclear power station in 2020.
- Virginia is home to facilities and operations of half a dozen global leaders in the nuclear energy sector. They include Framatome Inc. (Lynchburg), BWX Technologies, Inc. (Lynchburg), NovaTech (Lynchburg), Bechtel (Reston), Dominion (North Anna and Surry) and Newport News Shipbuilding (Newport News).
- In October 2019, Framatome acquired Christiansburg-based FoxGuard Solutions, a company dedicated to the field of integrated cybersecurity, industrial computing, and regulatory compliance solutions. FoxGuard will become Framatome’s center of expertise in cybersecurity for North America.
- Also in October 2019, Framatome relocated its SPEC 200 manufacturing facility from China to Lynchburg.
- BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT) has been selected by NuScale Power to conduct the design for manufacturability engineering work for NuScale’s small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power module.
- Two major federal facilities located in Virginia – NASA Langley and the Norfolk Naval Shipyard – are active in research, development and the use of nuclear technology. Between the Naval Shipyard and Newport News Shipbuilding, the nation’s nuclear-powered Navy has its home in Virginia.
- Dozens of other companies, located all across Virginia, provide services, supplies and support to these major Virginia facilities. Testing services, materials and supplies, security, engineering services and much more are provided to the industry by Virginia businesses.
- These companies operate and employ Virginians in towns as diverse as Abingdon, Alexandria, Arlington, Ashland, Chantilly, Charlottesville, Chester, Colonial Beach, Fairfax, Goochland, Hampton, Lynchburg, McLean, Mechanicsville, Roanoke and Virginia Beach to name but a few.
- Because many of these Virginia businesses have operations around the country and the world, it is difficult to determine total jobs and revenue numbers for Virginia alone, but it is likely the number exceeds 100,000 jobs across the Commonwealth and tens of billions of dollars that are tied directly to the nuclear energy sector. These generate substantial state and local tax dollars.
- Virginia Tech, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), the University of Virginia (UVA) and Old Dominion University have established degree programs and research relationships to train the next generation of expertise and leadership needed to support the nuclear energy sector in the U.S. and around the world.
- The universities, labs and industrial base in Virginia are involved in cutting-edge, nuclear-related research and development that will drive the Virginia nuclear economy of the future.
- Virginia’s existing nuclear assets and capabilities make it a prime location for next generation reactors, and the Commonwealth and industry should work together to attract investment in those technologies.
Nuclear Industry, Education and Utilities in Virginia: Asset Inventory List
Nuclear to Play Vital Role in Innovating Virginia's Carbon-Free Future
No scheduled meetings at this time.