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An Oregon-based developer of nuclear power is looking at placing its modular light water reactors at retiring U.S. coal-fired power plants. Among those mentioned as potential targets are some plants in West Virginia.

In a report released April 15, NuScale makes the case that it’s an ideal solution for repurposing America’s coal plant infrastructure and revitalizing communities.

There hasn’t been a timetable for if or when it would happen in West Virginia, but plans are underway for a NuScale power plant in Idaho as part of that state’s Carbon-Free Power Project.

“NuScale is excited about the potential opportunities to site and innovate power plants in West Virginia,” said NuScale vice president Diane Hughes. “We continue to have productive conversations with a number of stakeholders across the U.S. who are supportive of our technology becoming a key part of our national energy economy.”

A variety of factors — including falling costs of renewable power and competition from natural gas — have resulted in the shuttering of hundreds of coal-fired power plants. More than 250 plants have shut down since 2010.

T-Mobile to fill local positions

T-Mobile is expanding its presence in West Virginia less than a month after launching home internet service in the Mountain State.

The company said it plans to hire “Hometown Experts” to serve as company representatives in areas without retail locations. It said it plans to fill 2,500 of those positions in as many small towns nationwide.

Openings have been posted in Charleston, Barboursville and Huntington. T-Mobile is also hosting a virtual career fair on Wednesday to offer more information on the Hometown Expert position and other jobs. Those interested can visit t-mobilenetwork ing.vfairs.com.

T-Mobile Home Internet launched in West Virginia on April 7 as part of a national rollout encompassing more than 30 million households. The service is initially available in communities near Charleston, Parkersburg, Huntington, Weirton, Mount Gay and Bluefield.

The launch comes after first starting as a limited pilot program in 130 cities and towns in nine states. That includes five areas in the northern and eastern parts of West Virginia. The program was part of a push by T-Mobile to expand internet coverage into rural areas of the United States. Company officials said nearly one-third of the more than 30 million households currently eligible for the service are in rural areas.

The company said it expects to have more than 500,000 customers nationwide by the end of 2021, and plans to serve upwards of eight million homes in five years.

Community Connections WV opens in Nitro

A regional independent insurance agency that specializes in Medicare support has opened an office in Nitro. Community Connections WV is located in the Nitro Medical Building, off 19th Street. The branch is being led by Chris Layden and Brian Watkins, both West Virginia Medicare professionals.

“We represent all of the major Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement and prescription drug plan carriers in West Virginia,” Layden said. “Medicare is confusing enough without all of the phone calls, letters and commercials. We don’t sell anything. We educate the client so they understand how it works and guide them to make the correct decision.”

Reach Scott Hamilton at shamilton@wvgazettemail.com or 304-348-4886.

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