"We'll let the old people return home," they stated. "They'll die soon, but they will be happy."
"You can take my house keys from my irradiated, dead hand."
Close to 30 years on, there are still around 130 of them kicking about, and anecdotal evidence suggests that the people who returned to the Exclusion Zone tend to live longer and better than their former neighbors. It almost makes sense. Apart from the obvious decay in the urban areas, the Exclusion Zone is by and large unchanged, save for the occasional spirited ticking of the Geiger counter. So the ones who went back got to live a happy if slightly radioactive-wolf-filled life in their homes.