The world's largest known uranium deposit exists below Virginia's surface. However, with tightening mining regulations and many safety concerns, legislatures have been cautious to allow developers near the deposit. The uranium mining ban has been in place since 1982, when state lawmakers blocked mining permits from being issued until the appropriate regulations and safety technology were created.
The Washington Post reports that the Uranium Working Group, which is comprised of staff from Virginia's Department of Health, Department of Environmental Quality and Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, recently released a report detailing how the uranium could be safely mined.
The uranium deposit is expected to be the seventh-largest in the world, and could be enough to supply all U.S. nuclear power plants for about two years or meet Virginia's power needs for 75 years. However, despite energy suppliers' excitement about the possibility of mining the location, lawmakers, environmentalists and residents are concerned about the potential safety and environmental impact of development.
According to the news source, the group's report does not take a stand on whether the uranium deposit should be developed, however, it does make recommendations ahead of the 2013 legislative session.