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  • Jim Smith


First batch of “ATOMIK” Spirits available in the UK

Two years ago, scientists launched – to worldwide media interest - the first experimental bottle of “ATOMIK” spirits made from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Ukrainian and British scientists had shown that slightly radioactive products from the zone could be distilled to make spirits with levels of Chernobyl radioactivity below what they could measure. Now they’ve gone a step further and are selling their first batch of spirits in the UK via their website Their test sales suggest demand will be high for this very limited production.

The University of Portsmouth’s Prof. Jim Smith and his Ukrainian colleagues have set up a Social Enterprise - The Chernobyl Spirit Company - which has worked with the famous Palinochka Distillery in Ukraine to produce a unique spirit drink. The drink is made from apples from the Narodychi District, one of the still inhabited areas most affected by the accident.

The path to market of ATOMIK Spirit hasn’t been easy. This first batch for shipment to the UK was seized by Ukrainian prosecutors on leaving the Ukrainian distillery, and was only released after a court hearing found no fault in the Chernobyl Spirit Company’s activities.

Prof. Smith says “We have spent our careers working on the consequences of Chernobyl and believe that the accident’s social and economic impacts are now a much bigger problem than the radiation. We hope our social enterprise will help support Ukraine’s long recovery from Chernobyl”.

The Persha Zakarpats'ka Palyncharnya Distillery Director, Mr. Viktor Feer, who participated in the emergency response to the Chernobyl accident is proud to be part of this project. Mr Feer says "ATOMIK Apple is a premium 5x distilled spirit: it is robust but smooth with clear hints of apple reminiscent of a beautiful Ukrainian autumn”.

Dr Gennady Laptev, also a Chernobyl “liquidator” who worked there in the first weeks after the accident, said: “We hope our social enterprise will help people affected by the devastating social and economic impacts Chernobyl had on communities”. Seventy-five percent of profits from sales of ATOMIK will go to supporting local communities and nature conservation in the affected areas.

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