As a mother, the recent trend of teens enriching uranium for the purpose of creating nuclear weapons concerns me deeply. Sadly, my concerns are apparently not felt by executives in Hollywood, who continue day in and day out to produce movies, television shows, and music glamorizing the process of increasing the percent composition of uranium-235 through isotope separation.
It seems like every time I turn on the television I see another show about beautiful young people living it up inside a nuclear fuel production facility. At the theater, there’s movie after movie in which the so-called "heroes" are depicted selling weapons grade uranium to rogue nations with zero consequences. I have even stopped listening to the radio entirely since every time I turn it on I hear yet another song about utilizing the transfer of heat across a thin liquid to separate uranium isotopes ("Topin' Freakin'" by Lil' Fission, "F**k the International Atomic Energy Agency" by Yellowcake, and "1 SWU = 1 kg SW = 1 kg UTA" by Kelly Clarkson to name just a few).
What the media never depicts are the downsides of working with nuclear weapons components. You never see the radiation sickness, the international arms races, or the instantaneous disintegration of entire cities that often results from this behavior. Instead, kids are left with the impression that enriching uranium is "cool."
It's up to parents to protect their children from these negative influences. When my son Charlie is watching television, I frequently check in on him. If I find that he's watching a show about nuclear scientists, I wheel him away from the TV and turn his wheelchair so he's facing a wall. Then I lock the wheels so that he can't go back to watching his awful program. It may sound a bit harsh, but it's the sort of hands-on parenting that keeps kids out of danger.