Scientists produce vodka from Chernobyl exclusion zone

Image: BBC

British scientists have created a vodka made of grain and water from the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Atomik grain spirit is the first consumer product to come from the abandoned area around the damaged nuclear power plant.

The team started the vodka project by growing crops on a farm in the zone, to study how the land has recovered since the catastrophic nuclear accident in 1986.

“We just don’t abandon the land,” Ukrainian hydrometeorologist Gennady Laptev told the BBC. “We can use this land in different and diverse ways and we can produce something which will be totally clean from the radioactivity.”

However no need to fear, the product is not radioactive and has been thoroughly tested.

Professor Jim Smith, part of the research team said: “Any chemist will tell you, when you distill something, impurities stay in the waste product.

“So we took rye that was slightly contaminated and water from the Chernobyl aquifer and we distilled it.”

Prof Smith now wants to produce the traditionally-brewed vodka for sale through a social enterprise called The Chernobyl Spirit Company, with 75% of the profits going back to the affected community in Ukraine.

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