"CHATHAM, Va. -- In a landscape of rolling pastures and grazing cattle, Stewart East stepped from his pickup truck with a Geiger counter. He pointed it at a puddle filled by recent rains, and the instrument erupted in scratchy feedback."
"'This is the top of the deposit,' said Mr. East, an employee of a company that wants to mine one of the largest lodes of uranium in the United States, which happens to be found here in southern Virginia.
A fight over whether to drill beneath the oak hedgerows, an undertaking that would yield 1,000 jobs and a bounty of tax revenue in addition to nuclear fuel, has divided the region. The bitterness is reflected in competing lawn signs that read 'No Uranium Mining' and, on the other side of the road, 'Stop whining. Start mining.'
Now, after years of government reports and hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations that included a trip to France for state lawmakers, the issue has reached the crucible of Virginia’s General Assembly."