Study Says SWVA Ideal Location to Develop Advanced Nuclear Technology

 A study released this week says southwest Virginia is an ideal location to develop advanced nuclear technology. The Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) serves on the project team working toward Governor Youngkin’s goal of having a Small Modular Reactor (SMR) up and running within ten years.

“The first step in validating southwest Virginia as a competitive hosting ground for small modular reactors is complete,” said Virginia Energy Director Glenn Davis. “This region will continue its energy development culture and our agency is committed to lead the way in providing safe, reliable and affordable energy for the people of the Commonwealth.”

The “LENOWISCO” planning district released the Site Feasibility Study earlier today. Dominion Engineering, Incorporated worked alongside the project team to complete the study which considered features such as population, existing infrastructure and available land. The project team reviewed seven preliminary sites within Lee, Wise, Scott and the city of Norton and declared the region to be competitive for the development of an SMR.

A 300-megawatt SMR can power 150,000 homes. With the creation of 40-60 long-term jobs and hundreds of initial construction jobs, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates the deployment of an SMR could create over $100 million in new local tax revenue over an 18-year-period. The lifespan of this nuclear technology is 40-years.

Governor Youngkin announced his all-of-the-above energy approach, which included new nuclear goals, with the release of the Virginia Energy Plan in October 2022. The full study can be found on Virginia Energy’s website.

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