No, this isn’t an early April Fools’ Day joke, but a real thing you can actually buy. It’s called Atomik Vodka, and was created by an international team of scientists studying the exclusion zone around Chernobyl. This alcoholic spirit is made with grains and water grown in the area around the abandoned nuclear power plant. The grains are grown on a farm located withing the zone, and apparently, the distillation process removes all impurities so the resulting liquid contains the same radioactive compound as any other spirits drink – natural Carbon-14. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The team of scientists, led by Prof. Smith, have been studying just how the land in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl has recovered since the nuclear disaster of 1986. Since they’ve proved that the artisan vodka is not radioactive or harmful for consumption, they plan to make it commercially available, while donating most of the profits to help communities around the Chernobyl area.
“This is no more radioactive than any other vodka,. Any chemist will tell you, when you distil 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. We asked our friends at Southampton University, who have an amazing radio-analytical laboratory, to see if they could find any radioactivity. They couldn’t find anything – everything was below their limit of detection,” Prof. Jim Smith, from the University of Portsmouth, in the UK, told the BBC.