Organizations join efforts to advance Virginia nuclear industry

The Virginia Nuclear Energy Consortium (VNEC) and the Center for Advanced Engineering and Research (CAER) today announced a plan to work together in a joint effort to bring more nuclear research dollars into Virginia and create more nuclear workforce opportunities.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two organizations, initiatives related to research projects, education and training programs, new nuclear technologies, and job opportunities bringing nuclear-related businesses into Virginia will be conducted.

“This agreement will help us ensure government, academic institutions, and private commercial entities make the most of Virginia’s capabilities for contributing to the next generation of nuclear technology and education, opening doors for additional research funding, creating opportunities for new jobs, and launching new businesses in the commonwealth,” said Dr. Sama Bilbao y León, Director of Nuclear Engineering Programs at VCU and Chairman of VNEC.

Discussing the details of the MOU, VNEC Executive Director Marshall Cohen stated, “This MOU builds upon actions by the Virginia Legislature earlier this year to provide additional support for the CAER and upon the historical support of the CAER by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. It is another excellent example of what the legislature intended when it established VNEC several years ago.”

The Agreement spells out specific processes for joint programs and identifies some specific areas on which the two organizations will work together. These will include promotion of Virginia’s research facilities and capabilities, efforts to train and attract job seekers in nuclear fields, and increasing educational opportunities. Briefings and information sessions for Virginia’s Congressional Delegation, State Legislators and key Federal and State Agencies will be carried out.

Bob Bailey, Executive Director of the of CAER stated, “Combining the powerful VNEC brand with the CAER research capabilities enables CAER to expand its research base not only statewide in Virginia, but with important agencies such as the US Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Electric Power Research Institute and others.”