An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Nuke or No Nuke

Before I became a Christian, eight years ago, my understanding of the Christian world was that it was confined to the word of the Bible which, in turn, didn't stray beyond committing good acts and performing kind deeds. The possibility even of those everyday issues which concern everyone being of any relevance to Christianity was beyond my understanding.

Of course, Christians would have faced the same issues as non-believers but I didn't think that theology strayed into those boundaries. In my mind I had constructed a metaphysical world which Christians inhabited, shrouded by a lack of understanding of what it meant to be fighting one's way in the physical realm.
The recent Japanese catastrophe has again reminded me of my utter ignorance. For two reasons, I have started to wonder about the implications of Nuclear power from a Christian standpoint. Firstly, because the word 'nuclear', for me, immediately conjures up images of death-black and white photos from Hiroshima of human beings lying dead on the exact spot they were standing before they were struck. Secondly, because it is Easter and a time of Jesus' death.
In the political landscape of combating climate change nuclear power had been gaining support because of its’ ability to be a clean provider by reducing greenhouse gases and improving the EU’s dependence on other forms of energy supply. Nuclear energy is used to produce one third of the electricity currently generated in the EU alone. However, as we approach the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster on 26 April it can safely be assumed that the bad experience of this will become part of the debate on the future of nuclear power.
As Christians can we support something that has a power and purpose of destruction when used during war? On the other hand, our duty of stewardship towards God's creation demands that we take every action to safeguard Planet Earth. Is Nuclear part of God's creation?
Genesis 2:15, 'The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it'. I am no theologian but I think the answer lies in examining the intent of the usage of nuclear power. If it's used to kill people and destroy parts of the earth then I cannot support it. However, if it is being used to preserve God's beauty then I will support it. When accidents happen, as with Japan, I will put it down to an 'Act of God' but the context for this won't be in the sense of this is what God intended.


  1. I think those of us who are opposed to the use of nuclear power are not merely concerned as to the way it is to be used, but more for the huge potential for destruction such an unstable element holds.
    Key in all of its uses is the danger of leakage which, as we have seen in Chernobyl and now again in Japan is nearly impossible to contain.
    There is also the problem of disposal of waste from the nuclear plants world-wide.
    The affects of even minor under-publicised leaks are so long lasting and wide ranging as to make this form of power permanently unsafe.

  2. I can support the peaceful uses of nuclear power in principle, but until the problem of waste disposal is solved satisfactorily, I have the deepest doubts about using it. Trouble is, climate change is an even worse threat, and we're likely to need nuclear power if we're going to keep that under control.

  3. What is interesting is that Ray, you are opposed to Nuclear power, and Robert, you are in favour of it, but you both have doubts over the waste disposal problem. Till the Science is clearer on what the long terms effects are from storing waste underground I don't think we will get much further.
    Thank you very much for your comments.

  4. Interesting. Were you brought up Christian, or Hindu, Jane?

  5. Dear Anita,
    I was brought up as a non-practising Christian. We went to church about 3 times a year but paid no attention to the teachings of Christianity.
    Thank you very much for your question.