Chernobyl vodka: Scientists distill spirit in radioactive exclusion zone

CNET | 8/8/2019 | Jackson Ryan
cv2angels (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/7Mx-4J3KnXcTlVwil32LSZ-gOQo=/756x567/2019/08/08/398c7839-8d8a-427e-86f4-095408763a17/atomik-bottle-1.jpg

Bottle o' rads?

The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl remains the worst nuclear accident in human history, leaving a 1,000 square mile region of the Ukraine uninhabitable since 1986. While some have continued to live there and tourists flock to the radioactive zone in droves (thanks to HBO's fantastic series), the surrounding areas have been reclaimed by nature. Now, the BBC reports, a team of scientists have produced the first consumer product out of the exclusion zone since the nuclear disaster: An artisan vodka dubbed "Atomik".

Chernobyl - Spirit - Company - Vodka - Rye

The Chernobyl Spirit Company, has brewed up the vodka from "slightly contaminated" rye grain they planted within the exclusion zone. While many traditionally think of vodka as produced from potatoes, these days most vodka is made from grains such as wheat and rye.

The one, the only (literally!) bottle of Atomik. Distilled in Chernobyl.

James - Smith - Scientist - University - Portsmouth

James Smith, an environmental scientist from the University of Portsmouth, is part of the team at Chernobyl Spirit Company and has published numerous studies discussing the effects of radioactive pollutants, with a focus on accidental releases. He's studied Chernobyl since 1990 and spent time working in Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia.

"Our Atomik grain spirit came from an experiment we were doing to see how much radioactivity transferred into different crops in the Exclusion Zone 30 years after the accident," he says, via email.

Experimental - Plot - Grain - Kilometers - Miles

The experimental plot where the grain was grown is situated about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the Chernobyl reactor. Part of the process also involved using water from Chernobyl's aquifer, lying about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of the site of the disaster. The aquifer has been shown to contain traces of radioactivity in the past.

"We had the Atomik grain spirit idea as a way to firstly (hopefully) make people think more deeply about the recovery of the Chernobyl affected...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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