Thursday, June 12, 2008

The True Battle of Chernobyl Uncensored.

From The Buddhist Blog

1986 was a difficult year for the world. In January the United States saw the explosion of the space shuttle, Challenger during lift off. Then in April a man made disaster of epic proportions was triggered that rocked the then Soviet Union in Russia which affected the world as a result of the explosion of nuclear reactor #4 at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in Ukraine.

I remember this accident vividly even though I was only 10 years old. The true reality of the extent of the damage wasn't fully known for some time due to the censorship of the Communist Party of the USSR but now 22 years later the true story is finally being told.

And just yesterday I discovered a stellar, brilliant documentary (viewable at the bottom of this post) that compiles all the information known up to the present regarding the Chernobyl nightmare. It is beyond sobering but a must view due to the current push to build more nuclear reactors in the face of global warming and the current oil crisis.

It is true that it emits the least amount of greenhouse gases of any currently known energy options. However the problem is that the energy is highly unstable, dangerous and is difficult to control. It only takes one slight error to cause long lasting, world wide disaster. In addition, there is still the problem of how to safely "store" the highly, dangerous, radioactive waste.

As a Buddhist I can't condone something with such a high risk for death and suffering. The probability of major accidents is small but another Chernobyl will eventually occur given the imperfect nature of human beings. I can not advocate for an energy where an accident can kill as many people if not more than a war. I am very committed to the precept of not killing or causing suffering and nuclear energy is like playing with a loaded gun, sooner or later it will cause an accident, kill someone and/or cause tremendous suffering. The difference, however, is that the nuclear loaded gun has the potential to kill all life on Earth.

Pushing nuclear energy is a short-sighted and a less skillful view being that it places greed and desire for instant gratification over long-term considerations of safety and other consequences. It is extreme selfishness to push for taking such stupid risks rather than live more modestly, conserve and invest in safer, more natural energy. It is gambling with the life and happiness of our children and grand-children.

It runs at an hour and 30 minutes and is one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen. I strongly urge you to watch it. It is truly a powerful and important documentary. The true story of Chernobyl must be known and seen to remind ourselves of the irreversible disasters that can easily occur when using nuclear power: