UKRAINIAN spies have seized of a batch of booze made near the blitzed Chernobyl power plant and destined for Britain.
The potent spirit is called Atomik and was manufactured using apples grown in the radioactive exclusion zone.
Atomik is a spirit manufactured using apples grown in the radioactive exclusion zone[/caption]
While the fruit used in the recipe is “slightly” radioactive, the resulting spirit is safe to drink, according to the outfit behind the bonkers project.
The Chernobyl Spirit Company, headed by Brit academic Prof Jim Smith, announced last week that a shipment of 1,500 bottles had been confiscated.
Kyiv prosecutors were acting on a demand for action from the SBU secret service, according to a statement.
They snatched the booze on a truck after it left a Carpathian Mountains distillery at the start of its long journey to the UK.
“It seems that they are accusing us of using forged Ukrainian excise stamps,” Professor Smith, of the University of Portsmouth, said.
“But this doesn’t make sense since the bottles are for the UK market and are clearly labelled with valid UK excise stamps.”
Announced in 2019, Atomik is the result of a collaboration between British scientists and Ukrainian booze-makers.
It’s said to be the first consumer product to come out of the site of the world’s worst nuclear disaster.
The unique “artisanal spirit” is made from apples from Narodychi district, a still-inhabited area badly polluted by the explosion 35 years ago.
Bar Swift in Soho, London, was the first to serve the tipple – in a martini made using what was at the time the only bottle in existence.
Speaking following the seizure of the company’s first batch of bottles, Prof Smith, a longtime expert on the area’s recovery from the 1986 disaster, highlighted the company’s positive impact on the local economy.
“We are working hard to set up a business to help bring jobs and investment to the Chernobyl affected areas of Ukraine and to further support the community with 75 per cent of any profits we make,” he said.
Dr Gennady Laptev, a Chernobyl “liquidator” who worked at the site in the aftermath of the explosion, said: “We hope this issue can be resolved so that we can continue our work trying to help people affected by the devastating social and economic impacts Chernobyl had on communities.”
Elina Smirnova, the lawyer representing The Chernobyl Spirit Company in court, accused the SBU and prosecutors of “violating” Ukrainian law.
“They have targeted a foreign company which has tried to establish an ethical business to first of all help Ukraine,” she said.
“The actions of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are damaging the reputation of Ukraine as an open country for doing business. We still believe that the truth will win.”
The makers claim the apple-based alcohol is entirely safe.
It is “no more radioactive” than any vodka, said Prof Smith, an environmental sciences expert.
They earlier intended to manufacture vodka but switched to an apple-based spirit due to tough Ukrainian restrictions on alcohol made from grain.
The artisanal spirit is said to be based on Ukraine’s moonshine distillation methods.
Most read in Science
In other news, forest fires near the site of Chernobyl released plumes of radiation into the atmosphere last year.
Chernobyl may still be causing spikes in cancer rates around the globe, according to one expert.
And, this eerie Chernobyl drone footage shows abandoned apartment blocks and funfairs in a city crippled by the nuclear plant explosion.
Would you drink a glass of Atomik? Let us know in the comments!
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]