Chornobyl ATOMIK “vodka” was presented in Britain
A team of scientists from the UK and Ukraine managed to produce experimental radioactive safe alcohol from Chornobyl water and wheat using traditional “homemade methods”.
Water from Chornobyl wells was used to make the experimental “ATOMIK” batch.
Distilled alcohol was diluted with mineral water from a deep aquifer in Chornobyl town, which has a similar chemical composition to the groundwater of the Champagne region of France. No radioactive contamination was detected in the water.
In their report, the scientists also presented the results of a 3-year research project on the study of radionuclide migration from soil of the exclusion zone to crops grown in that area. In the experimental samples grown under the project, they found a slight excess of the allowable concentration (20 Bq / kg) of strontium-90. But since in the process of making alcohol, the amount of impurities in the grain is usually reduced, so they were able to detect only natural carbon-14 radionuclide in the finished drink. The Carbon-14 concentration was no higher than that of any other alcoholic beverage.
The report received a positive response from the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management.
“Once again British scientists struck the world with a unique achievement and proved that “the impossible becomes possible”. This time, in close collaboration with Ukrainian scientists, they demonstrated that in Chornobyl zone a pure radiation-safe product with a traditional taste can be created. Thus, the Chornobyl vodka is no longer one of myths, but reality,” - says the Head of the SAUEZM Vitalii Petruk.
Professor Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth describes “ATOMIK” as perhaps the most important bottle of alcohol in the world. The plans of the researchers are to establish the production of vodka from grain grown in the Zone of Compulsory and Unconditional Resettlement and to return 75% of the profits to the Chornobyl affected region's communities.
“We do not plan to grow grain in the exclusion zone on an industrial-scale, because there is now a wildlife sanctuary. Instead, we want to work in the Zone of Compulsory Resettlement, where pollution levels are much lower and where people still live. We strive to produce a high-value product to support the economic development of these territories, “said Professor Smith.
Researchers point out that many remote areas can now be used to grow crops safely if doing it under radio ecological control.
Oleg Nasvit, the First Deputy Head of the SAUEZM, said that the Agency supports the initiative to use the abandoned lands of the resettlement zone for the benefit of local communities. He also stressed that safety should be the first priority in any activity in these territories.
“I would call it a high-quality moonshine, because “ATOMIK” has a taste not typical of highly purified vodka, as well as the aroma of grain from our original Ukrainian distillation methods. I like it,” he said.
Now a social enterprise The Chornobyl Spirit Company is being created, which in the future will produce and sell high quality “ATOMIK” vodka. To start production, a number of legal issues need to be resolved, following which scientists hoping to start a small scale experimental production of “ATOMIK”.
Water and alcohol testing was carried out by specialists of the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, the University of Southampton, the geological and environmental laboratories of the University of Portsmouth and an independent laboratory for the testing of wines and spirits.
“ATOMIK” was developed as part of a project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), which aims to find out when and if it is possible to start safely using some of the abandoned lands as a result of the Chornobyl disaster for growing crops. The project cooperates with the Government of Ukraine, the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, the State Specialized Enterprise "Ecocenter”, the Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute, the Ukrainian Institute for Agricultural Radiology and the Institute of Geological Sciences of NASU. The British partners of the project are the University of Salford and the Center for Ecology and Hydrology.