Youngkin Wants To Expand Nuke Energy In Virginia

Virginia GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin has unveiled a new energy plan that seeks to expand the use of nuclear energy in the commonwealth.

  • The first-term governor’s plan has drawn some skepticism, considering the has only four nuclear reactors in two power plants
  • The reactors already generate nearly one-third of the Virginia’s energy and about 95% of its zero-carbon, clean energy.
  • Youngkin, in his first turn as an elected official,  intends to expand on nuclear power by building a small modular nuclear reactor in the southwestern part of the state within the next 10 years.
  • He also plans to turn the commonwealth into a “nuclear hub” and support research and innovation by working with Virginia-based nuclear companies BWXT and Framatone.
  • “The Commonwealth should take advantage of this incredibly competitive position on the forefront of nuclear energy research and development to become the nation’s leader in [small modular reactor] technology,” the governor’s plan read.
  • However, David Kemp, a research analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute, was not optimistic about the plan, saying nuclear power is not cost competitive with coal or natural gas because “construction costs are astronomical.”