A discussion I’ve had on the Brave New Climate boards about Chernobyl culminated in this post. I love it!
Peak background radiation today in the region appears to be 25 microR/h, that’s 2.2 mSv/y. The red area. Since this only measures gamma radiation it accurately describes the cesium contamination dose rate. Well actually no, about half that peak dose appears to be natural, so likely we’re talking about roughly a 1 mSv/year peak from Chernobyl contamination in the worst affected areas today.
2.2 mSv/year is below the average natural background radiation of the world, due primarily to ubiquitous radon.
So, for talking points, you can say that the worst contaminated areas are considerably less radioactive than all of Scandinavia. Oddly enough there is no plan yet to evacuate and condemn Sweden, Finland and Switzerland, as their natural background radiation is worse than the worst areas around Chernobyl.