An amazing surprise for anti nuclear groups

Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama, a revered spiritual leader whose influence is felt far beyond the boundaries of Tibetan Buddhism, startled his followers and the anti-nuclear community this week. In an interview with the news media in Tokyo, he said that there is a role for nuclear energy in the development process. His comments follow a tour of the earthquake and tsunami devastated areas in Japan about 40 miles from Fukushima.

He said that he is in support of nuclear energy for peaceful means as a way to bridge the socioeconomic gap in developing nations and in the absence of more efficient alternative energy sources.

"There are still many developing countries with a huge gap between rich and poor … millions of people's live remain under the poverty level."
He added that energy sources like wind and solar are too inefficient to put into realistic practice to meet the needs of developing nations.

The Dalai Lama's influence extends to many new age communities and even into the philosophical underpinnings of some American environmental groups. So it must come as a profound shock for them to find that he is urging both opponents and proponents to look at the issue "holistically."

The Dalai Lama also addressed some of the emotion laden communication that has been in the forefront of opposition to nuclear energy. In a statement that could just as easily come from an expert on probabilistic risk assessment, the Dalai Lama said that no amount of preparation can completely rule out danger.