In view of the large uranium ore body in the Commonwealth, the Commission agreed last year to consider whether uranium is a resource that should be developed as part of the Commonwealth’s energy portfolio. Toward that end, I appointed a committee of the Commission to investigate the issue, to define a scope of study, contract with such third parties as appropriate to conduct the study and report its findings to the Commission. Delegate Lee Ware chairs that committee.
After extensive public hearings over the course of six months and input from a number of interested parties, Delegate Ware’s committee adopted a scope of study or “statement of task” on May 21, 2009, a copy of which is enclosed.
I understand that Dr. Karmis, who has worked with Delegate Ware’s committee, has also had preliminary discussions with Dr. Warren Muir, Executive Director of the Division on Earth and Life Studies, Dr. Anthony R. de Souza, Director of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources (“BESR”) and Dr. Elizabeth A. Eide, Staff Officer with BESR, and that the parties have an understanding of how best to proceed in undertaking this assignment. Dr. Karmis worked closely with the committee in developing the statement of task which sets forth the elements of the study.
I write to request that the NRC work with the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research as the sponsor of the project. We hope that the questions asked in the enclosed statement of task will serve as the basis for your work. We do not know what would constitute a reasonable length of time to examine the issues set forth in the statement and will be interested in your assessment in that regard.
As for funding, after our solicitation to all interested parties, we have received a firm commitment to underwrite the costs of the study. Those funds can be transferred to the Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research when the statement of task and an agreement have been reached with the NRC.
We look forward to hearing from you.
cc: Dr. Warren Muir, Executive Director, Division on Earth and Life Studies
Dr. Anthony R. de Souza, Director, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources
Dr. Elizabeth A. Eide, Senior Program Officer, Board on Earth Sciences and Resources