Do you know | Chernobyl rye and water make vodka?

 Do you know | Chernobyl rye and water make vodka?

Produce | Netease Science and Technology Know or Not column group (public number: tech_163)

Not long ago, a team of scientists from Britain and Ukraine produced the first special bottle of vodka, called Atomik, which was unique in that the water and grain used in the brewing process came from the Chernobyl nuclear power plants no-go zone.

Although after the Chernobyl nuclear power plant spill in 1986, the local government declared that the area would not be suitable for human habitation for 24,000 years, the makers of Atomique vodka promised that the vodka we produced would not be more radioactive than any other liquor product on the market.

Now the Chernobyl nuclear power plant is no longer a no-go zone partly because it is no longer as dangerous as was feared 33 years ago, but some radiation hotspots, such as the Red Forest, where most of the radioactive material leaked from the nuclear reactor is still banned from tourists. However, the Ukrainian government now considers that the risk of radiation pollution in most areas of the restricted zone is insignificant. In the past 10 years, the Ukrainian government has reopened the restricted zone to allow visitors to enter.

Today, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant site has become the largest tourist destination in Ukraine. In 2018, the number of tourists exceeded 60,000. After the premiere of the short play Chernobyl, the number of tourists in May this year increased by about 30% compared with the same period in 2018.

Nevertheless, tourism in the Chernobyl area is strictly controlled. Tourist groups are often forbidden to touch local plants or eat local crops. Biologist Anders Moller has spent several weeks each year in the past decades studying the restricted area environment. He says local crops are often affected. When it comes to radiation pollution, human intake can be terrible.

Professor Jim Smith, co-founder of Atomique Vodka and professor of Portsmouth University, said: During distillation, all pollutants in rye are filtered out. The fermented liquid will be purified, and water and other diluents will be removed.

Any chemist knows that when you distill a substance, impurities are filtered and left in the residue, Smith said. In addition, his research colleagues conducted radiation tests on Atomique vodka and confirmed that the product was as safe as any other liquor.

At present, only one bottle of Atomique vodka is produced, but the founder hopes to limit production to 500 bottles by the end of this year and sell them to Chernobyl tourists full of curiosity. Smith said 75% of the profits from the sale of the vodka will be returned to local residents in the restricted areas, whose economic development has been very slow since the nuclear disaster 33 years ago.

Thirty years later, Smith said, I think the most important thing for the Chernobyl region is to develop the economy, not to consider the radiological impact of the region.

Atomiga vodka is the first consumer product from the restricted area since the financial crisis. Interestingly, it tastes like a fruit rye whiskey.

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Source: Editor in charge of knowledge: Qiao Junjing_NBJ11279