RD620 - Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority 2018 Annual Report
Charge and Responsibilities
In 2013, the General Assembly created the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority (the Authority) as a political subdivision of the Commonwealth for the following purposes:
> Making Virginia a national and global leader in nuclear energy, science and technology;
> Serving as an interdisciplinary study, research and information resource for nuclear energy in Virginia; and
> Establishing the Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium (the Consortium), a non-stock corporation responsible for conducting activities to achieve these goals.
This, the Authority's 2018 Annual Report, details its activities over the last year and offers strategic recommendations to advance nuclear energy in Virginia in 2019 and beyond.
Authority Activities in 2018
Since its establishment and organization in 2013, the Authority has worked diligently to:
> Set goals and define the responsibilities for the Authority and the Consortium;
> Recruit members to the Consortium, securing commitments from companies and higher education institutions;
> Maintain an annual inventory of nuclear education and industry assets in Virginia, illustrating that the nuclear sector is helping drive Virginia's economy in every region, with high skilled jobs, research and technology development and generation of revenue at both the state and local level; and
> Provide technical support and policy recommendations to the development of the Virginia Energy Plan and its biennial status updates;
> Provide information and expertise to stakeholders, elected and non-elected officials, and policymakers at all levels of government;
> Establish the Authority as a convening body for information on the current state of the nuclear industry in the Commonwealth, nationwide and globally.
Strategic Recommendations for 2019 and Beyond
The Authority and the Consortium have developed these recommendations to support nuclear energy generation, research, development, and deployment of advanced technologies, education and workforce development and recognize nuclear energy's vital role in the Commonwealth's diverse electricity generation portfolio. This input was provided as part of the Virginia Energy Plan process and will serve as a roadmap for future priorities.
The industry recommendations fall in three major categories:
• Virginia's nuclear industry requires a highly skilled workforce with specialized training to support existing and next-generation nuclear reactor operations. To support the requirements of this workforce, Virginia shall establish an energy workforce and education pathway, and adopt an Energy Workforce Cluster.
• The nuclear workforce is diverse in its levels of skill and training required. The Commonwealth shall expand and develop its support for university degree and community college programs.
• The Commonwealth shall also work closely with industry to ensure the availability of skilled craft labor; providing a pipeline of well-educated, skilled workers necessary to continue creating high-paying jobs for Virginians to enhance and develop the nuclear industry in the long term.
• STEM education is critical for the future workforce. Virginia shall expand and enhance STEM education, which the industry will support and assist with nuclear industry-specific content and opportunities.
New Technology & Innovation
• Virginia is a global leader in nuclear energy, thanks to companies like Bechtel, BWX Technologies, Inc., Dominion, Framatome, Inc., Lightbridge Corporation, Newport News Shipbuilding, and many others, and the Commonwealth's university education and research programs. The Commonwealth shall promote these assets and capabilities through support for additional research opportunities, funding, and establishment of new technology innovation centers. State support for federal research funding requests by providing matching funds will ensure continued development by our universities.
• Virginia shall continue to advance its role as a nuclear leader by working with the industry and educators to identify and support the next generation of technologies in the Commonwealth; helping attract opportunities for investment and public-private partnerships for new, advanced technology projects.
Promoting the Nuclear Industry and Education
• Reinforce the efforts of the Authority and the Consortium to make the Commonwealth a national and global leader in nuclear energy and serve as an interdisciplinary study, research, and information resource for the Commonwealth on nuclear energy issues.
• Regulatory certainty is essential given the long-lead decisions required for the continued safe and efficient operation of existing nuclear assets and the substantial capital commitments associated with constructing new nuclear units. Virginia's energy policy shall view nuclear assets as a 'clean' baseload source of electricity, which is responsible for significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
• Virginia plays a critical role in the national security as the home to one of the two nuclear-powered shipbuilding companies in the United States. The Commonwealth shall recognize and continue to support the naval nuclear fleet and lead efforts to ensure continued funding for the current and future class of aircraft carriers and submarines at the federal level.