Greenpeace flies drone into nuke plant

AFP
Greenpeace activists said they had flown a drone fitted out as a flying Superman into a French nuclear plant to highlight the lack of security around the facility.
AFP

Greenpeace activists said yesterday they had flown a drone fitted out as a flying Superman into a nuclear energy plant in southeast France, aiming to show how the country’s reactors are vulnerable to terror attacks.

A video released by the environmental group shows the drone zipping through restricted airspace above the Bugey plant about 25 kilometers outside Lyon before crashing into a building on site.

It said the drone struck a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel next to a reactor, one of the most radioactive areas at the site.

“This is a highly symbolic action: It shows that spent fuel pools are very accessible, this time from the air, and therefore extremely vulnerable to attack,” Yannick Rousselet, head of Greenpeace France’s anti-nuclear campaign, said in a statement.

French electricity group EDF played down any security risk, saying police forces had intercepted one of two drones launched by Greenpeace at dawn yesterday.

“The fuel building is key for security, designed in particular to withstand natural or accidental damage, which ensures its high degree of robustness,” EDF said, adding that it would lodge a complaint with police.

Greenpeace has carried out several actions aimed at highlighting the danger posed by French nuclear plants, which generate the bulk of the country’s electricity needs.

In February, eight activists were given jail terms or fines after breaking into a plant and setting off fireworks last year.

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