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Scientists hope to sell vodka made from grain grown in Chernobyl's exclusion zone

They say it's 'no more radioactive than any other vodka'

Image source: BBC YouTube video screenshot

Would you drink anything distilled from crops grown within the exclusion zone surrounding a nuclear waste site? A group of scientists hope so and have created the first bottle of "Atomik," a vodka made from grains cultivated from the Chernobyl disaster area.

What are the details?

The researchers from Britain and Ukraine have launched what they call an "artisanal" spirit, which they claim is "radioactive-free" or, at least, "no more radioactive than any other vodka."

According to the scientists, the purpose of their project is to help restore the region surrounding Chernobyl, which was abandoned following the 1986 meltdown of a nuclear power plant. They say they will give "75 percent of profits back to the affected community."

Professor Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth is part of the effort, and issued a statement in announcing Atomik's launch, saying, "I think this is the most important bottle of spirits in the world because it could help the economic recovery of communities living in the Zone of Obligatory Resettlement where new investment and use of agricultural land is still forbidden."

Through the development of the scientists' social enterprise, "The Chernobyl Spirit Company," Professor Smith says, "We aim to make a high-value product to support economic development of areas outside the main Exclusion Zone where radiation isn't now a significant health risk."

Chernobyl vodka made in exclusion zone - BBC News www.youtube.com

Anything else?

While some may scoff at the prospect of ingesting a product made from Chernobyl, fears over the area's contamination have subsided in recent months.

Tourism at the site is booming, thanks to the success of HBO's wildly successful recent miniseries, "Chernobyl" — which detailed the disaster from 30 years ago.

CBS News reported that the rise in visitors has prompted Ukraine's president to make Chernobyl "and surrounding areas more tourist friendly" — despite the fact that "hundreds of square miles surrounding the reactor remain off limits."
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