CHATHAM, Va. (AP) — Federal officials are due in Virginia to explain their possible role in regulating uranium mining and milling if the state ends a 30-year ban on tapping the radioactive ore.

A team of Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials will join a state panel studying a range of issues relating to uranium mining and milling at a meeting Thursday night in Chatham. The Pittsylvania County town is the epicenter of a debate over whether Virginia should end the ban and let a company mine a deposit of the radioactive ore.

Gov. Bob McDonnell created the Uranium Working Group to guide state leaders on whether the ban should remain in place or be lifted.

Critics of uranium mining say it poses a unique risk in Virginia. Mining advocates say it can be done safely.