Radiation doses from natural radiation and from man-made modifications on natural radiation, and different natural radiological environments in the Nordic countries are summarized and used as a perspective for the radiological consequences of nuclear energy production. The significance of different radiation sources can be judged against the total collective effective dose equivalent from natural radiation in the Nordic countries, 92 000 manSv per year. The collective dose from nuclear energy production during normal operation is estimated to 20 manSv per year and from non-nuclear energy production to 80 manSv per year. The increase in collective dose due to the conservation of heating energy in Nordic dwellings is estimated to 23 000 manSv per year, from 1973 to 1984. An indirect radiological danger index is defined in order to be able to compare the significance of estimated future releases of radionuclides from a final repository of spent nuclear fuel to the consequences of natural radionuclides in different environments. The danger index of natural radiological environments will not be significantly increased by future releases of nuclear fuel radionuclides.