With all of the recent talk of nuclear disasters resulting from a reactor meltdown and how much or how little radiation has been released by Japanese nuclear power plants, and if that amount is deadly, it’s hard enough for us regular folk to grasp the situation. Now imagine if you were a child living in Japan with no knowledge of how nuclear reactors or power plants work. You would see adults panicking (maybe) and hear constant comments about something very bad happening. Naturally, you would want to know what is going on. In order to ease children’s minds, a media artist, Kazuhiko Hachiya, has created a short animated video explaining the situation to children in terms that they can understand.
The video tells the story of Genpatsu, or Nuclear Boy, who gets an upset stomach after the earthquake that hit Japan. Because of thee upset stomach, Nuclear Boy has to release some gas, or fart every once in a while. This is compared to Three-Mile Island, which released a big fart, and Chernobyl, which had diarrhea and pooped everywhere. Doctors are trying to make Nuclear Boy feel better by giving him medicine and hoping that he doesn’t fart any more or poop. In case he does poop, he has a diaper around him to catch it all, but no one knows how to dispose of the diaper afterwards.
I think this is a clever way of explaining the situation to children who have little to no knowledge or understanding of what’s happening. Nuclear Boy stands in for the nuclear power plants, farts are releases of steam, poop is a nuclear meltdown, doctors are the people working in the plants, medicine is coolant, and the diaper is the containment building around the reactor. The video is great not just for children, but for anyone who’s a little lost as to what’s going on, not to mention that it’s also cute at the same time.