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Homer Simpson (fictional character)

The atomic age?

Since 1989, the opening credits to "The Simpsons," the longest running animated series on TV, has featured a short bit of animations showing the buffoon patriarch Homer sacked out at his post in the control room at a nuclear power plant.

It's probably no coincidence that when the show was first going into production, the Peach Bottom Atomic Power Station was in the national spotlight for being shut down in the aftermath of U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors finding a real-life nuclear operator asleep at his post in the control room.

It probably is a coincidence, however, that this week is the 25th anniversary of that fateful inspection and this week a...