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We have investigated the radiation induced absorption (RIA) of optical fibers with high active ion concentration. Comparing our results to the literature leads us to the conclusion that RIA appears to be only weakly dependent on the rare earth dopant concentration. Instead, co-dopants like Al, Ge, or P and manufacturing processes seem to play the major role for the radiation sensitivity. It is also observed that different types of irradiation cause very similar RIA at the same dose applied, with the exception at very high dose rates. It has been studied how RIA can be efficiently reduced via moderate heating. Recovery of up to 70% of the original transmission has been reached after annealing at 450 K. We conclude that radiation induced color centers have weak binding energies between 20 and 40 meV. This suggests that annealing could become a key strategy for an improved survival of rare earth doped fibers in radiative environments, opening up new possibilities for long-term missions in space.