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Nuclear plant protester must serve 5 days in jail
North Anna protestor to serve five days in jail

Date published: 1/13/2010

By RUSTY DENNEN

The last of six anti-nuclear protestors arrested at North Anna Power Station's visitor center in 2008 will serve five days in jail for trespassing.

A Louisa County Circuit Court jury last week found Earl S. Flansburgh guilty of misdemeanor trespassing. Flansburgh, who also goes by the name Paxus Calta, had appealed a two-week jail sentence handed down in Louisa General District Court in September 2008.

Flansburgh is a member of Peoples Alliance for Clean Energy, which opposes a plan by Dominion Virginia Power to add a third nuclear reactor at North Anna.

The peaceful protest at the plant's information center by the South East Climate Convergence was held to draw attention to that proposal. Dominion is in the final stage of the application process before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission with a plan that has drawn fire from some environmental groups and nearby residents.

Flansburgh was originally sentenced to two weeks in jail. He begins serving his sentence later this week.

"I consider this a victory," he said in a written statement. "It is a reduction in the original sentence and far less than the Draconian punishment proposed by the commonwealth's attorney."

Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Garrett said, "We're pleased with the outcome. It's a significant sentence, given the nature of the charge. Mr. Flansburgh has a history of that type of behavior. In a post-9/11 world, we take the safety of a nuclear power plant very seriously."

The six arrested Aug. 7, 2008, were among more than 20 demonstrators at the information center located outside the secure area of the plant. They were charged after refusing to leave when asked by police.

Three of the protestors were sentenced to fines and jail time, with the jail time suspended. Two others were fined, ordered to complete 40 hours of community service and banned from Dominion property for two years.

The power station near Mineral sits on 13,000-acre Lake Anna, which borders Spotsylvania, Louisa and Orange counties.

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
Email: rdennen@freelancestar.com