I highly recommend reading the book _Wolves Eat Dogs_ by Martin Cruz Smith for a fictionalized account of chasing criminals thru the Zone of Exclusion. Lots of details about radiation, residents who stayed, and the disaster itself. Don't know how close it is to truth of course. Disclaimer: he's my favorite mystery writer.
For a detailed if fictional view of Chernobyl and Pripyat, read the novel _Wolves Eat Dogs_ by Martin Cruz Smith. Smith sends his detective character Arkady Renko on a case to the Zone of Exclusion. I am not a radiation scientist so cannot judge the veracity of the novel but he goes into considerable detail about the accident, contamination levels, people who remained, etc. Fascinating read. Disclaimer: this is my favorite author.