I've been to Kazakhstan a few times and the last time I went I was taken on a long drive and saw some very interesting landscape and scenes. I was told that when the Russians pulled out they just stopped what they were doing, put on their jackets and left leaving everything in place... leading to everything from abandoned facilities that were seemingly intact but slowly decaying to part built or part demolished facilities with in some cases the construction/demolition equipment still in place and together with the buildings slowly decaying or being scavenged. I saw some of this but didn't see but was told of a chemical weapons facility that was abandoned and left to be scavenged by anyone and everyone. It's an amazing scenario and may be true in part if not in whole but after seeing what I saw I can believe it's all at least partly true.
The trip I went on out of the city (Almaty) and into the country wasn't a photography trip and I had no opportunity to take pictures so I'd love to go back and do that trip again but this time with the opportunity to take pictures.
It's a fantastic country and if anyone gets the chance I'd say don't hesitate, go.
I never came near getting arrested. I was once told "No photography" by an armed guard but there was no instruction to either delete the pictures I'd already taken or leave, I just stopped taking pictures and everything was fine. It's a country I'd go back to in an instant.
If any of you have seen Dark Tourist on Netflix, the presenter takes a tour into the heart of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, in Tomioka. He quickly discovers that the radiation levels still present there are way above what they are told going in. At one point their geiger counters show radiation levels 10 times that expected in the Chernobyl disaster region Pripyat. I wonder how high the levels actually are in that region, as opposed to what they tell you. Not sure I'd fancy taking a chance if you do, take a geiger with you!
I'm sure it's a complex issue, the radiation comes from particles of radio active material so it is not evenly distributed and like light is subject to the inverse square law, so you probably need to consider distance, exposure time and all sorts of other things to arrive a meaningful figure.
The really problematic radiation is likely to come from alpha emitters, and you need to take those inside your body for them to make a difference (your skin stops alpha radiation). It's unlikely that there's enough beta and gamma around to make a difference for the short period you would be there unless you could get into the core.