Stop The Bombs International Peace Walk
Day 27 - Thursday April 7th, 2005,
Roseland VA to Charlottesville VA


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     Its always hard to get moving again after a non-walking day....

   I was fortunate this time to have been able to do my "rest day" work at Allison and Matthew's house, so I had been productive contacting media and working on website updates, but also rejuvenated by the gorgeous surroundings- the panoramic mountain ranges, spring blooming fragrant trees and the gurgling river I had slept beside.... Thanks again to them both for the organic feast they offered the walkers !

   We pulled off an exceptionally fast cleanup at the Nelson United Methodist Church (Jun-san cracking the whip to get us going) and were on the road by about 7:45am, ready to face 21 miles and the trucks we had been listening pass us by in the night...

   The pace of the walk compared to the couple of days previous indicated how beneficial rest days can be, and we powered along all morning. It had been predicted to rain in this area at 3pm, an announcement which people had credited to a joke, but sure enough , 20 mins before 3 we started feeling the splatters and at 3... the downpour !

   It only lasted an hour intensely, then subsided for the last leg of the day. we had walked strongly to the end, and had even passed the elected "stop point" for the day, deciding instead to continue walking until our shuttle arrived. We were still 16 miles from Charlottesville, so the local community had offered to pick us up and deliver us to the Church of the Incarnation where we were staying for the next 2 nights . Rhonda, who had coordinated our stay here for 2 nights, was straight on to transporting people to the nearby inn for showers before the Food Not Bombs feast began.

   Half way down the table I realised my plate was full and so retreated to a table to speak with locals and find out more about DOMINION POWER, the local nuclear terrorists....

   Since the 3 mile Island accident, no new nuclear reactors have been built in the US. Dominion, who currently operate 2 reactors in this area have applied for a licence to open 2 more, in accordance with Bush's plan to have 50 new reactors on line by 2020 !!!! There are 5 potential sites being considered for locating this new generation of reactors, including Mississippi, Illinois and Charlottesville. Jennifer, who was explaining the situation, used the term "economic justice" in reference to the proposed localities, as these are all fairly low socio-economic areas. Jennifer is a local member of the People's Alliance for Clean Energy , who work to promote alternative and efficient energy sources.

   A proposed reactor site for Charlottesville is on Lake Anna, a fishing and recreation area. Due to contamination from unknown chemicals, people cannot consume more than 1 fish /month from here , and kids under 3 are banned from eating any fish from the Lake. Property values have declined because of the environmental devastation , however, because Dominion power is the largest employer in Louisa county , it has been hard to mobilise large scale resistance.

   The plants Dominion operates are ageing, and recently there were cracks found in the fuel rods at one. However, due to loopholes in legislation, meaning the ageing plants are not required to update, the reactors will continue to operate until they are decommisioned. The plan was initially to send waste away to a long term storage repository (eg to the planned and highly controversial Yucca Mountain site), but it is currently being stored on site.

   The Charlottesville people are passionate and committed to fighting Dominion and bringing awareness to their activities , and I am looking forward to visiting the Charlottesville office with the locals tomorrow !!

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