What do you call vodka produced from grain grown in the exclusion zone around Chernobyl, scene of the world’s worst nuclear disaster 33 years ago?
Atomik, of course.
British scientists say the alcohol is free of dangerous radioactivity and could be mass produced to help economic recovery in the blighted region around Chernobyl.
Prof Jim Smith from the University of Portsmouth hopes the traditionally distilled “artisan” alcohol can be produced and sold through a social enterprise called the Chernobyl Spirit Company, with 75% of profits going back to the local community.
“We don’t think the main exclusion zone should be extensively used for agriculture as it is now a wildlife reserve, but there are other areas where people live but agriculture is still banned.
“We aim to make a high-value product to support economic development outside the main exclusion zone where radiation isn’t now a significant health risk.”
Oleg Nasvit, the first deputy head of the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management, told AFP: “We welcome this initiative to use abandoned lands to help local communities. It is important that we do everything we can to support the restoration of normal life in these areas whilst always putting safety first.
“I’d call this a high-quality moonshine. It isn’t typical of a more highly purified vodka, but it has the flavour of the grain from our original Ukrainian distillation methods. I like it.”