NUCLEAR! That word has been associated with negativity for a very long time. It wasn’t surprising as a lot of heads turned when the Dalai Lama voiced his complete support for the use of nuclear energy. The Dalai Lama is a well-known spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism. Before you get too excited, one must comprehend that there is a massive difference between nuclear energy and nuclear bombs. The Dalai Lama’s views suggest that he is in support of a country or a community using nuclear energy through peaceful means as a way to bridge the socio-economic gap in developing countries, due to the fact that they don’t have many other alternative energy sources.
“There are still many developing countries with a huge gap between rich and poor…millions of people’s lives remain under the poverty line and we have to think about those people,” said the 79 year old.
The Dalai Lama is a very influential leader and has followers and people who respect him all over the globe. His influence extends to vibrant international communities and also many philosophical groups. Nuclear energy is a very controversial topic and the Dalai Lama is clearly for it, but there are many issues to look at first. The Dalai Lama proclaimed that alternative sources of energy such as wind or solar are too inefficient for fast developing countries and the use of nuclear energy could be very beneficial. There are multiple problems with these “fast developing countries using nuclear energy.”
Firstly, there is a massive aspect of energy security. At this point in time, all eyes are on the countries expanding their nuclear research because it is assumed they would or could use it for negative means. Now, with more nuclear energy being created, there is a chance it can easily be misused by many major countries and terrorist groups. A global push towards a system of nuclear energy would ultimately mean that uranium enrichment would have to grow in the world. The problem with that are many of these countries looking to invest in nuclear energy plan to reprocess wastes to obtain more of this energy. The result is weapon grade uranium. This uranium could be easily misused. Next, there is the aspect of radiation. If not made properly, nuclear energy could cause many radiation problems such as cancer and genetic mutation.
This is not to say that nuclear energy is necessarily a bad thing. It has very many positive aspects. In terms of pollution, nuclear power plants do not produce air pollutants. Air pollutants include sulphur, or even greenhouse gasses. The use of nuclear energy benefits the world in terms of climate control and keeping air clean. It can, like stated before, be extremely beneficial to help the people who live under the poverty line. With this, they can be economically sustainable.
The Dalai Lama has a point. Wind and solar energy are viable aspects that countries could invest into, but these energy sources are too young and do not, at all times, guarantee results. Nuclear energy could be the way forward for these developing countries. After all, the Dalai Lama said it, so it has to be right.
– Andrew Kumar