Still, if I prevent human intervention for 48 hours, then I render a large portion of the country uninhabitable for hundreds (or thousands) of years.
What country are you talking about? Monaco?
The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is only 2,600 km^2, or less than half a percent of the area of a not-that-big country, and even it is full of thriving wildlife and tourists. Modern reactor designs would be desirable, but no commercial reactor is going to make a mess big enough to render a large portion of the country uninhabitable. FUD.