Distillate alcohol experiment
We have been doing studies to see how much radioactivity transfers from soil to crops in the Chernobyl abandoned areas more than 30 years after the accident. We found that, at our site in the main exclusion zone, radiocaesium in rye was below the (quite cautious) Ukrainian limit but that radiostrontium was a bit above the limit. But when we made ATOMIK grain spirit from the grain, we could find no Chernobyl-derived radioactivity in the distilled alcohol.
The water used to dilute the distillate to 40% alcohol is a mineral water from the deep aquifer below the town of Chernobyl about 10 km south of the nuclear power station. It is pure and of high quality, having water chemistry characteristic of a limestone aquifer such as that found in the South of England or the Champagne region of France.
The laboratories of The Ukrainian Hydrometeorological Institute and the University of Southampton GAU-Radioanalytical could find no trace of Chernobyl radioactivity in ATOMIK grain spirit. Out of scientific curiosity we're going to try even more sensitive analytical methods to see if we can find something - nothing on Earth is completely free of radioactivity.