In The Simpsons opening Homer handles a rod of uranium, that he gets rid of while commuting to home afterward. However, as he works as a safety inspector, it doesn't seem to be part of his work responsibility to deal with uranium directly. Is there any explanation why he does that?

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    events in the opening aren't canon anyway ;) – NKCampbell Nov 15 at 22:32
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    @NKCampbell [citation needed] -- I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just curious what your basis for the statement is. – KlaymenDK Nov 16 at 21:01
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    Is there any explanation why he wouldn't do that? Homer hasn't generally been shown to be an extremely competent Nukulur Safety Inspector. ...or an extremely competent anything (so long as that Crayon is in his nose anyways). – BruceWayne Nov 16 at 21:48
  • Also neither do actual nuclear power plants have any nuclear fuel rods in this form, nor do they handle the nuclear fuel in this way, nor does the nuclear fuel glow green. The entire scene is a combination of silly clichés. – Loong Nov 17 at 10:23
  • Why wouldn't it be a plutonium rod, and why couldn't it just be a stray one? – amI Nov 18 at 6:09
up vote 75 down vote accepted

Homer's first job was actually not a Nuclear Safety Inspector. He was a "nuclear technician" or "technical supervisor" (No one really knows. Not even him). In S01E03, he is fired from this job. He eventually becomes a "safety crusader" after witnessing all the safety violations the plant commits. Mr. Burns re-hires him as a safety inspector to shut him up.

That part of the opening sequence has been unchanged for the entire span of the show. What you're actually seeing is Homer at his original "Nuclear Technician" job before he became a safety inspector.

DeeV answered it quite well but one more update it's not even rod of uranium but a carbon rod. And to be accurate Inanimate carbon rod.

There were two such rods prominent in the show as detailed in linked wikia. And it shows he is less valuable to the plant than an inanimate object and also during NASA mission history repeat itself.

And he did use to work in Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, so having a carbon rod is not so strange especially when you envy it so much.

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    To be even more accurate: an animated inanimate carbon rod. – T.J. Crowder Nov 16 at 10:46
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    @T.J.Crowder Whereas, if I drew such a rod in the style of The Simpsons, it would be an imitated animated inanimate rod. – David Richerby Nov 16 at 19:11
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    The rod in the opening appears to be glowing, while the inanimate carbon rod pictured in the wiki article does not seem to be. Are we sure they're the same thing? – Zach Lipton Nov 17 at 3:51
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    @ZachLipton Fuel rods don't glow either. – David Richerby Nov 17 at 11:41
  • They do if underwater, Cherenkov radiation and all... – Drunken Code Monkey Nov 18 at 12:58

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