Scientists Say They’ve Made A Vodka From Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone

Scientists from the University of Portsmouth created "Atomik" vodka, a spirit made with exclusion zone grain and water, making it the first consumer product to come from the area around the abandoned nuclear power plant. 

Of course, Chernobyl is the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, which resulted in thousands of deaths. 

For more than two decades, authorities have maintained the 19-mile radius exclusion zone around the reactor, including the city of Pripyat, once home to 50,000 people. 

A team of scientists from the University of Portsmouth and Ukraine brewed the vodka as part of a three-year research project into the transfer of radioactivity to crops grown in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.

Jim Smith, who led the project and who has conducted research on Chernobyl for decades, worked with a team to find out if it was safe to use some of the abandoned land to grow crops. He says “30 years on after the accident we found was that in the area the crops were slightly above the very cautious Ukranian limit for consumption. So technically, you can't eat those crops. But we thought, Well, we've got some grain, why don't we try making a vodka.” 

Experts diluted the distilled alcohol with mineral water from an aquifer in Chernobyl town, which is just over 6-miles south of the reactor. The researchers insist the vodka is safe to drink.

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