Atomik Grain Spirit is a (largely) (radiation-free) moonshine vodka distilled from grains grown in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as part of an experiment to determine the transfer of radiation from soil to crops; so far, the University of Portsmouth researchers behind the project have only made one bottle, but they hope to go into production and remit 75% of the proceeds to charities in the Exclusion Zone.
There’s slightly more than 20Bq/kg of strontium-90 in the grain, but this is removed during the distilling process. The ater comes from a deep, contamination-free local groundwater aquifer.
The new enterprise is called “The Chernobyl Spirit Company” and has preliminary approval from Ukrainian authorities.
Analytical tests of the water and distillate alcohol were conducted by the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, the University of Southampton GAU-Radioanalytical, the University of Portsmouth Geological and Environmental Laboratories and an independent wine and spirits testing laboratory.
The artisanal vodka is one of the results of a project led by Professor Smith, a leading expert on Chernobyl, which was given funding to find out when and if it is safe to start using some of the abandoned land for growing crops.
Radioactive-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl [Jim Smith/University of Portsmouth]
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