It is amazing: 25 years have gone by since the Chernobyl nuclear explosion burned and blacken our skies. The explosion that burned a hole in the atmosphere while it shook our consciousness with fear.
It was said that the “accident” was due to the low standard of Soviet technology and maintenance capability. That all was safe everywhere else. Japan, as many other nuclear “accidents” has proven that the risk is not only due to poor maintenance and old technology.
Nuclear energy was born during World War II. Heisenberg, the leading scientist on quantum physics was working in Germany at the time. He knew that if he released the atomic energy, the use of it would be catastrophic. He wrote a letter to Einstein in which he voiced his concerns and asked Einstein not to develop nuclear energy during the war. Heisenberg promised Einstein he would not deliver the atomic energy to the Hitler's regime. (German scientist were far ahead from their Allies counterpart). Einstein did not believe Heisenberg, or decided to carry on regardless. Heisenberg was appalled when he got the news on the New Mexico nuclear explosions. Oppenheimer, one of the scientists on the Einstein team remembered the Bhagavad Gita -Oppenheimer was fluent in Sanskrit and could read the original text- when Vishnu is trying to persuade the prince Aruna to do his duty. Vishnu takes on his multi-armed form, and says:"Now I have become death, the destroyer of worlds." Atomic energy was first used in war, for destruction, that has given it certain karmic characteristic. It was the release of a force that surpassed the control we had over it. The image of Mickey Mouse in Fantasia when he uses magic to empower the brooms to carry water comes to mind. Things got out of hand. Mickey attained the magical power by not the best of means, and so the power overtook him and got him in trouble.
Today we still use -regardless of the technological advances- pretty much the same kind of energy release as did the first two atomic bombs. We still split the atom to release the energy. The sun produces nuclear energy in massive amounts, but by fusion, by uniting particles instead of splitting them. The sun's fusion turns hydrogen atoms into helium, a much more powerful reaction is obtained. Also the fusion of atoms is much safer regarding nuclear waste, Helium is stable. (What an amazing metaphor: more is achieved by uniting than by splitting!).
Once again, technology has gotten ahead of the consciousness we have regarding its use. Slowly, it seems, and in part due to the nuclear “accidents” we have had in Europe, America and Asia consciousness is growing stronger and stronger. Serious reconsideration of the use of nuclear power since the Japanese accident has been taken place in China and Germany. Other countries are also reconsidering the nuclear energy issues to some degree. It is a world problem. Needless to say, nuclear use will continue and few things will change. A new “accident” is not needed to improve things. It is more an issue of social consciousness and action. It has more to do with a different exploitation (no pun intended) of nuclear energy. If this awareness is not reached some time soon, then another “accident” will knock on our door to remind us that the lesson has not yet been learned.
The burned Chernobyl sky or the radiating sea water of the coast of Japan, can not be forgotten or render as useless anecdotes. The awareness that we are one with the planet, one with all forms of existence and one with life on earth is a must. The responsibility in the production and use of energy is unavoidable, whether it is physical energy or any other kind of energy, for we can not detach ourself from the responsibility and consequences of what we create. That in a way is a simple explanation of karma.