Vodka made with apples grown near Chernobyl seized in Ukraine

It was the nuclear option.

A booze company says it made vodka with apples grown near the Chernobyl exclusion zone — only for Ukraine’s secret service to seize the first batch.

The Chernobyl Spirit Company says its first 1,500 bottles of “Atomik” vodka had been bound for the UK — but are now in the hands of Kyiv prosecutors.

“The actions of Ukrainian law enforcement agencies are damaging the reputation of Ukraine as an open country for doing business,” company attorney Elina Smirnova said in a statement posted on the Atomik website.

Investigators confiscated the shipment from a truck at the distillery in the Carpathians on March 19, the BBC reported.

“It seems that they are accusing us of using forged Ukrainian excise stamps, but this doesn’t make sense since the bottles are for the UK market and are clearly labelled with valid UK excise stamps,” said UK professor Jim Smith, who set up the company with some Ukrainian colleagues.

The company in 2019 unveiled its first sample of the alcoholic drink, made from apples grown in the Narodychi District, which is still inhabited but near the site of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster.

Smith said at the time that Atomik was “no more radioactive than any other vodka.”

The company said the vodka was the first consumer product from around the exclusion zone, an area that was abandoned after the reactor meltdown in what was then Soviet Ukraine.

A team of British and Ukrainian scientists worked on the artisanal spirit using slightly radioactive ingredients, which they said showed no measurable radioactivity after it was distilled.

“Any chemist will tell you, when you distil something, impurities stay in the waste product,” Smith said at the time.

“So we took rye that was slightly contaminated and water from the Chernobyl aquifer and we distilled it.”

Smith argues that the business was working to bring jobs and investment to areas of the country still feeling the effects of the nuclear disaster.

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