With all the lore around the nuclear waste-infested town Chernobyl (thanks to the Chernobyl Diaries), it’s only fitting that their first domestic product has been named ‘Atomik‘.
For the first time in 33 years, the town has created its own vodka.
Now of course, people do have one question. Is this vodka radioactive-free? Lets say the Atomik vodka does not give you mutations.
Before you think that takes away from the excitement, apparently the vodka is made from crops grown on a farm around the damaged nuclear power plant.
The artisan ‘Atomik‘ vodka is made with grain and water from the abandoned town.
How Safe is Chernobyl ‘Atomik’ Vodka?
The fact that Atomik is the world’s first consumer product made from crops grown on the site of a nuclear disaster does raise health concerns. This is where Professor Jim Smith from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth comes in.
Professor Smith worked with scientists and researchers to help the communities affected by the nuclear disaster. While we all think about the health complications, the economic impact was just as fatal.
That’s why Professor Jim Smith pitched in to help local communities.
“The problem for most people who live there is they don’t have the proper diet, good health services, jobs or investment.”
Atomik is the brainchild of Chernobyl Spirit Company. Of all the products they could make why vodka? It was part of Soviet Russia (duh) once. Another reason why they opted to make vodka is that there were remnants of rye grain even after the nuclear disaster killed everything.
“Our idea then was [to use that rye grain] to make a spirit.”
‘Atomik’ Is As Radioactive as Any Other Vodka
So does that mean Chernobyl’s Atomik is not radioactive? According to Professor Smith ‘Atomik’ is not 100 percent radioactivity free., but neither is any other vodka.
This is no more radioactive than any other vodka.
Basically, all vodka is radioactive. That’s because of all the general radioactivity from our phones and electric appliances. As for the contaminated rye, the process of brewing a spirit leaves impurities in the waste product.
“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.”
Professor Smith added that radio-analytical laboratory test at Southampton University showed the content was ‘below their limit of detection‘. This means that its safe enough to be sold in the United States.
Keiv’s Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute scientist, Dr. Gennady Laptev, says that Atomik vodka proves how the contaminated land could be used productively.
With Chernobyl open for tourists, Professor Smith and his team will be providing a unique souvenir as Atomik vodka.