Nearly a quarter-century after the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, the wild boar of Germany remain radioactive. Der Spiegel reports that government payments compensating boar hunters for lost income have quadrupled since 2007.
Germany’s Atomic Energy Law mandates government compensation to hunters who shoot animals that are too radioactive to consume. In regions particularly problematic, all boar shot are checked for radiation; there are 70 measuring stations in Bavaria alone. Especially in southern Germany, boar routinely test out with high levels of cesium-137, rendering them unfit to eat.
Wild boar are prone to the glow because they consume in large quantities mushrooms and truffles, which are very efficient in absorbing radioactivity. According to Der Spiegel, “the contamination of some types of mushrooms and truffles will likely remain the same, and may even rise slightly—even a quarter century after the Chernobyl accident.”
Mushrooms are 90% water; water accumulates radiation at a rate a thousand times greater than soil.
So one can imagine the lingering effects of Chernobyl in the water that falls and flows and pools throughout Germany. And the rest of Europe. And the world.