Despite me being pro-nuclear...
This article is a bit pants.
The quotes you've pulled from the hippie article say that there are serious morphological effects, that the HEALTHY population is likely due to immigration, that there will continue to be an effect for decades and that levels of some incorporated radionuclides will remain dangerous for mammals.
The other study is looking simply at population, and confirms it has risen (i.e. that the radioactivity isn't at a level where it's killing everything faster than humans in the area would).
A vast population of unholy mutated deer, thirsty for blood and glowing in the dark would not contradict either study despite being suboptimal for humanity.
Was Chernobyl not as bad as it was painted? Yes, absolutely. Is it a nature preserve I'd love to live in? Absolutely not. We don't need more extremely biased articles from either side, we need sensible planning - remember the disasters, plan for them (and any others you can imagine), and get new plants built to provide lovely low carbon energy.