August 20, 2009
Dr. E. William Colglazier
Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer
National Research Council
500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Re: Virginia Coal and Energy Commission—Request for Uranium Study
Dear Dr. Colglazier:
As Chair of the Coal and Energy Commission, established in the legislative branch of state government pursuant to Chapter 25 of Title 30 of the Code of Virginia, I write to formally request that the National Research Council (“NRC”) undertake a study of whether uranium can be mined and milled safely in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I understand that informal discussions have occurred about this assignment between NRC and Dr. Michael E. Karmis, Director of the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research at Virginia Tech.
The Commission believes that such a study is critical for a number of reasons: our country’s concern about energy independence and clean energy; the location in the Commonwealth of the largest known untapped uranium ore body in North America consisting of an estimated 120 million pounds of uranium in Pittsylvania County, located in south central Virginia; and the potential that this discovery of uranium offers for greater economic development opportunities in a predominantly rural area of the state as well as for nuclear energy-related research.
The Coal and Energy Commission was established by the Virginia General Assembly in 1979. It consists of 20 members, thirteen of whom serve as members of the House of Delegates or the Senate of Virginia. The seven non-legislative citizen members are appointed by the Governor. Among its statutory responsibilities, the Commission endeavors to “stimulate, encourage, promote, and assist in the development of renewable and alternative energy resources other than petroleum.” We serve in an advisory capacity to the Governor and executive branch agencies upon energy-related matters, we encourage research designed to further new and more extensive use of the coal as well as alternative and renewable energy resources of the Commonwealth, and we make recommendations, from time to time, to the Governor and General Assembly on our own initiative, (see Section 30-189, Cede of Virginia, 1950, as amended).
NOT PAID FOR AT GOVERNMENT EXPENSE