Three of the six protesters arrested at the Dominion Resources North Anna Nuclear Power Plant were found guilty of trespassing today in the Louisa County Courthouse. The charges stem from conducting an alternative tour and sit-in at the Dominion Power Nuclear Information Center on August 7th.
The judge rejected their defense of necessity and sentenced Paxus Calta to 30 day in jail with 15 suspended. He reports to jail on September 29 pending his appeal and is available for interview until then. Sue Frankel-Streit and Spot Etal were fined $1,000 with $700 suspended. All three are banned form entering Dominion property for a period of two years. About 20 supporters gathered in front of the courthouse with signs displaying their anti-nuclear message.
“What is a greater harm here? That Dominions nuclear information center was inconvenienced and had to close 30 minutes late or that an untested new nuclear reactor will overheat Lake Anna when it is already getting to over 100 degrees most summers?” asks Paxus Calta, one of those arrested and a member of the People’s Alliance for Clean Energy (PACE) a group of concerned Louisa and Albemarle County residents who want real renewables and efficiency solutions instead of the proposed new reactor.
“Dominion wants to build a dangerous new reactor when it has no place to put the waste for the current two. These plants are already a toxic nightmare and we don’t need anymore in this area,” Says defendant Sue Frankel-Streit. “Dominion and the State are failing to address the problems of climate change and of nuclear toxins. We need a different way to make decisions about energy, because the solutions being proposed are failing to serve the people.”
Three other protestors from this action pled guilty last month and were fined $1,250, given a ninety day suspended sentence, two years of probation and a stay-away order from Dominion. Prosecutor Tom Garrett justified the harsh sentence (he had requested $2500 fines), saying the protestors should pay for overtime served by police monitoring a five-day climate change convergence held in Louisa from Aug.5-10th. The defendants have filed an appeal.
The planned new reactor at Lake Anna is one of the first of many nationwide being touted as a solution to global climate change. The protestors maintain that nuclear power is a false solution to the climate
change problem with costs and dangers that far outweigh any benefits. They cite enormous costs requiring massive government subsidies to construct the plant, dangers to the community caused by the lack of any viable plan to safely transport and store the toxic nuclear waste and project that construction of the plant could take ten years or more. The Louisa County protest is part of a series of international events calling for safe and renewable energy solutions.
For more information about the events visit www.climateconvergence.org