You may have heard the news that Fukushima is being ravaged by radioactive wild boars. No, it is not. The boars are not ‘radioactive,’ they would be irradiated. The difference between the two words is not mere pedantry, they describe very different phenomena. I talked about this in my last reminiscence post for the fifth anniversary of 3/11. Radioactive means the material is unstable and throwing it’s own particles around. Irradiated means the organism or object has absorbed radioactive material, and could potentially become toxic. Buried under the alarmist headlines is a very real, very important story about nature and some of the possible long term consequences of 3/11 that have gone largely unremarked on until now. There really are animals running wild in the parts of Fukushima that were evacuated and are still devoid of humans. Japan has always had a large wild boar population, so it is no surprise that they turn up in numbers inside the Fukushima exclusion zone.