Mar 13, 2017

Radioactive boars are running rampant in Japanese towns six years after Fukushima

As of February 13, 123,168 people from the three hardest-hit prefectures – Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima – remained displaced, including 39,598 Fukushima residents now living outside the prefecture due to the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the world's most serious nuclear incident since the 1986 Chernobyl crisis.

As you can see in this clip below, hunters have been hired to shoot the animals by the hundreds but many will remain when people begin returning to the region.

The government has cleared four towns in the Fukushima prefecture as being safe for people, but there's at least one issue standing in the way: Thousands of radioactive wild boars.

After people deserted the towns, wild boars emerged from local forests to scavenge for food and, according to local media, have flourished. Currently, three out of 45 commercial nuclear reactors in Japan are active and more than 10 reactors have met the supposedly more stringent post-Fukushima government safety requirements.

"In a bid to prop up the nuclear industry, the Abe government is trying to create a false reality that the disaster can be cleaned up and life in Fukushima can return to normal".

The New York Times, meanwhile, says that the boars "carry with them highly radioactive material" – with some having tested for radiation levels 300 times higher than safety standards.

The Japanese government wants residents in the surrounding area of the Fukushima power station to return home years after being evacuated. Responding to a government survey previous year, however, about half of Namie's 21,500 residents said they would not go back and cited concerns about radioactivity.

They worry that the toxic beasts could attack people returning to abandoned streets claimed by the animals, which are reportedly no longer afraid of humans. According to Baba, the need to eliminate the boars is urgent: "If we don't get rid of them and turn this into a human-led town, the situation will get even wilder and uninhabitable". "They found a place that was comfortable".

"I'm sure officials at all levels are giving some thought to this", Hidezo Sato, a former Namie seed merchant, told Reuters.