Drink Vodka Produced When reactor four of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant jumped into the air, the Soviet authorities had to act quickly and improvisedly. The immediate result was a gigantic exclusion zone, graduated according to radioactivity levels, which forced more than 200,000 people to leave their ancestral homes in Ukraine and Belarus. Thirty years later some have returned. And they have resumed their traditional activities, such as agriculture or livestock. Today the area already produces one of its typical delicacies.
How? The drink in question is called Atomik (obviously) and has been produced with grains and water from the exclusion zone. It arises from a joint project of British and Ukrainian scientists with a view to insufflating economic activity in a region devastated and abandoned to their fate. They want you to drink it. And for that they clear the doubt that we all automatically generated in our head: it is not radioactive. Although it comes from a nuclear wasteland.
Community. Why would anyone want to make vodka in one of the most radioactive places on Earth? The objective of the project is social. The production is paid by Chernobyl Spirit Company, a social cooperative that will allocate 75% of the profits obtained from the commercialization of the spirit to the local community. Both the immediate exclusion zone, where it is illegal to live, and the extended one (in Ukraine and Belarus) lack the necessary opportunities for its inhabitants to resume normal and prosperous lives.
Atomik is a song to optimism. And a way to draw attention to the rest of the world: here you can generate added value. You just have to know how.
It is safe? The research is resounding. According to Jim Smith, of the University of Portsmouth, one of the institutions involved in the project, the beans used in the production of vodka did have a certain degree of radioactivity. But, and it is important: “Distillation reduces any original impurity that the grains might have. The only radioactivity that the researchers detected in the alcohol was carbon-14, and at the same levels you could expect in any other beverage.” That is, you can drink it with ease.
Farming. Does that mean Chernobyl is prepared for large-scale food production? Not quite. On the one hand, the thirty-kilometer exclusion zone decreed around the plant has become an animal sanctuary. The absence of human presence has allowed deer, Siberian horses and wolves to flourish (with some radioactive impact). On the other, they have used abandoned land in less affected regions, although within the area bounded by the authorities.
6 Ways You Can Would You Drink Vodka Produced In Chernobyl? Some Scientists Have Created “Atomik”, And It Is Not Radioactive Without Investing Too Much Of Your Time
Life goes on. Thirty years after the catastrophe, hundreds of people continue to live within the exclusion zone. Some are refugees from Donbass, expelled by war and necessity. In Belarus, in the Radioecological Reserve of Polesia, a vast region of 2,000 square kilometers south of the country, there are thousands of people who did not leave their homes. The area has recovered part of the economic splendor that it enjoyed in the past, with agribusiness giants, such as Homiel, reinstalling and producing milk or bread on a large scale.
But can you consume anything produced in Chernobyl? When a European laboratory analyzed milk produced by a local farm, it discovered radioactive isotopes in proportions ten times above the legal. Most of the food grown in southern Belarus is exported to Russia. The Belarusian state insists that there is no problem. Agriculture is a pillar in the country’s economy, and does not want to miss a fertile region.