Gov. Lee's Executive Order 101...Would 2006's Technology Corridor strengthen it?

May 16, 2023 at 06:54 pm by WGNS

(NASHVILLE) Is Murfreesboro’s 2006 Technology Corridor connected with Gov. Lee’s Executive Order 101? On Tuesday (5/16/2023) Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order to advance Tennessee’s position as a national leader in nuclear energy. Executive Order 101 creates the Tennessee Nuclear Energy Advisory Council, which will seek to build upon the state’s legacy in nuclear innovation and drive continued investment to create a nuclear energy ecosystem for the future of Tennessee.

That was 17-years after a Technology Corridor plan was created in Murfreesboro that promoted something akin to the Silicon Valley, but this one covered Huntsville, through Murfreesboro with its strength at MTSU and Nissan and other technology driven businesses. Then to Tullahoma with Arnold Engineering and the UT Space Institute, and over to Oak Ridge.


Now Gov. Lee notes, “Tennessee is ready-made to lead America’s energy independence and drive continued economic growth with safe, clean and reliable nuclear energy for the future.”

By signing the executive order, it reportedly will continue the governor’s work to make Tennessee the number one state for nuclear energy companies to invest and thrive, bringing greater opportunity and quality jobs for Tennesseans.”

2006 Technology Corridor

Is there a place for the 2006 Technology Corridor in the governor’s plans?

Murfreesboro’s community leader Andrea Loughry was chair of that 2006 Corridor Council. 

It was developed after months of research and studying by regional community leaders. 

Could it enhance and strengthen the new ideas? 

The 2006 Technology Corridor was created by the minds of area leaders: Dick Austin, Jim Woodard, Dan Pierre, and Ed Kraft. Corridor members in addition to Ms. Loughry and others attending included Rick Peters, executive director of AEDC, Steve Benefield, president of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce; Holly Sears, director of economic development, Laurel Baes, and Tara Stone, all with the Rutherford Chamber; Bob Bell, president, and Ken Currie, both of Tennessee Technological University; John Black, executive director of Smyrna Airport, Michael Schulz, representing U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, Dan Wheeler with UT Extension Service in Columbia, Mike Boyle, Dean of Continuing Education at Middle Tennessee State University, and Clint Gwin, Southeast Community Capital. Attending with Daniel were Joel W. Muehlhauser, UTSI assistant vice president and research dean, and Daniel’s personal assistant, Scott Van Zandbergen.

Executive Order 101

Prior to signing Executive Order 101 in Knoxville, Gov. Lee joined industry leaders at the annual Nuclear Energy Assembly in Washington, D.C. to highlight Tennessee’s leading role in the future of American energy.

The Tennessee Nuclear Energy Advisory Council will consist of 15 members, including members of the Lee administration, the Tennessee General Assembly, Tennessee’s Congressional Delegation, and key nuclear industry stakeholders. 

The advisory council will recommend the following actions to advance Tennessee’s ability to lead the nation in nuclear energy:

  • Legislative, policy and budgetary changes to address regulatory, workforce or education barriers that exist to the creation and expansion of nuclear energy facilities in Tennessee
  • Funding opportunities for state government, local governments, and the private sector
  • Storage and waste practices that continue the state’s long history of conserving Tennessee’s natural resources
  • Federal actions that Tennessee should pursue with federal partners and agencies

This year, Gov. Lee partnered with the Tennessee General Assembly to create a $50 million Nuclear Fund in the state’s Fiscal Year 2023-2024 budget. The fund, proposed by Gov. Lee at his 2023 State of the State address in February, will establish a nuclear development and manufacturing ecosystem built for the future of Tennessee by providing grants and assistance to support nuclear power-related businesses that choose to relocate or grow in the state. 

Is There "A Rest of the Story"?

And for the rest of the Executive Order 101 story re: the 2006 Technology Corridor—NewsRadio WGNS will let you know if anything materializes.