At the Nuclear Secrecy blog, Alex Wellerstein describes the results of Project 32.2a, one aspect of the United States’ Nuclear Defence Agency’s Operation Teapot:
One of the many lines of investigation during these Civil Defense tests, Project 32.2a, sought to answer a simple question: What will the survivors drink in the post-apocalyptic world? If the water supply is contaminated or otherwise dodgy, what about all of those cans and bottles that capitalist society churns out by the billions of gallons? The introduction to the final report explains that while lots of attention had been given towards the effects of nukes on food, beverages had been largely ignored.
The obvious way to understand whether canned and bottled beverages will be safe to drink, says Wellerstein, was to drop nukes on soda and beer and see what happened. That’s exactly what the Atomic Energy Commission did. The scientists found that if the drinks weren’t hit by flying debris or smashed by falling refuse, they actually stood up pretty well to the nuclear blast. What’s more, the beer and other beverages weren’t even that radioactive—they were pretty much safe to drink.