Virginia’s new nuclear agency gets cloak of secrecy

From Daily Press:

RICHMOND – — Virginia is creating a new agency to support development of nuclear power – a move that has upset environmentalists and open-government advocates, because the entity won't have to comply with the state's Freedom of Information Act and other laws.

For the past year or so, companies that work with nuclear energy have been speaking with experts at Virginia universities with nuclear engineering programs and at industry-related nonprofit groups. The goal was to foster collaboration among nuclear-energy advocates, according to Del. T. Scott Garrett, R-Lynchburg.


"The bill is clear — FOIA will not apply to the consortium," said Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.


"The release of trade secret information is certainly reasonable, and there are exemptions within FOIA to deal with that," Rhyne said. "They can certainly protect that information without exempting the entire body from FOIA."