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Germanium single crystals pile‐irradiated at 20°C and 1014 to 1017 n/cm2 etch differently from similar crystals which have not been irradiated. The irradiated crystals when etched with CP‐4 show a finer surface granulation. This difference in etching behavior is reduced on annealing. Kinematic studies indicate an activation energy for the annealing process between 1.6 and 1.8 ev. The etching behavior of silicon single crystals shows a similar change on pile irradiation. The present work, though preliminary in nature, suggests a new experimental approach to the study of radiation damage.