Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Virginia Does NOT Say Yes to Nuclear


By Peter Galuszka
Posted on

In his typical business-only fashion, Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has named several nuclear energy industry executives to the new, 17-member, non-profit Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority set up this year just as the move to end the uranium mining moratorium was auguring in for a crash.

Hmm. Let’s check this out. State politics and global economics make mining uranium a non-starter for Virginia Uranium that has spent $300,000 plus on political donations over the past five years.

No can do the moratorium end thing.

So, with nuclear flaying and AREVA laying people off, we suddenly have the need for some public entity that is a non-profit.

I love the details.

Although public it will NOT have to bother with Freedom of Information Act requests. Its members will NOT be bound by rules pertaining to state employees. I guess that means reporting or limiting personal gifts and the like.

And, in classic McDonnell form, the participants are either state officials, college types, lobbyists or people with a very definite stake in making money from the nuclear industry.

There is not ONE person from the environmental sector. Not ONE engineer skeptical of nuclear power. Not ONE person concerned about Virginia Uranium’s mining operation that is deemed enough of a threat to groundwater that it has everyone from the State of North Carolina to cities in Hampton Roads up in arms.

THEY don’t count since they obviously are not STAKEHOLDERS and know nothing about nuclear power (Jim Bacon, please tell me if I am wrong, given your previous, suck-up posting).

Let’s see who is on-board:
  • The director of the Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy; the CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership; and several college presidents.
  • Michael Rencheck of Powell, Ohio, president and CEO of Areva Inc., which has operations in the Lynchburg area. “The Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium Authority’s collaboration and research efforts will help drive the future of nuclear energy and support the country’s clean energy vision,” Rencheck said in a statement.  “I am honored to serve … and look forward to working with my fellow board members to address important issues in the nuclear energy industry.” Gee, he sounds like someone with an open mind to energy sources other than nuclear.
  • Marshall Cohen of Fairfax, vice president of government affairs and communications at The Babcock and Wilcox Co.
  • David Christian of Toano, executive vice president of Dominion Resources and CEO of Dominion Generation.
  • Colleen Deegan of Rockville, Md., vice president of government programs for Bechtel.
  • Donald R. Hoffman of Bethesda, Md., president and CEO of Excel Services Corp. and president of the American Nuclear Society.
  • Maureen Matsen of Richmond, counsel for Christopher Newport University in Newport News.
  • Matthew J. Mulherin of Yorktown, president of Newport News Shipbuilding and corporate vice president of Huntington Ingalls Industries.
  •  Ganapati Myneni of Yorktown, senior scientist at Jefferson Lab.
  • Ron Sones of Gladstone, professor of business at Liberty University and president of SIBS LLC.
  •  Kiyoshi Yamauchi of Arlington, chief executive director of Mitsubishi Nuclear Energy Systems, Inc.
And not one environmentalist. Not one person from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Not one person from Southside who questions Virginia Uranium.

CLASSIC Bob McDonnell!