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Greenpeace France crashes drone at French nuclear plant

Published: July 3, 2018
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PHOTO: The drone easily passed the plant's security walls. (AP: Nicolas Chauveau/Greenpeace)

Greenpeace France said Tuesday it had flown the drone – remotely piloted by one of its activists – over Bugey nuclear plant near Lyon, France. The pilot then crashed the Superman-shaped drone against the wall of the facility’s spent-fuel pool building. This is not the first stunt by the environmental group at a French nuclear plant. The groups says it aims to expose the vulnerabilities of nuclear plants to terrorist attacks and accidents.

Greenpeace France said Tuesday it had flown the drone – remotely piloted by one of its activists – over Bugey nuclear plant near Lyon, France. The pilot then crashed the Superman-shaped drone against the wall of the facility’s spent-fuel pool building.

“The action again highlights the extreme vulnerability of this type of buildings, which contain the highest amount of radioactivity in nuclear plants,” Greenpeace said.

State-controlled EDF, which operates the plant, said that two drones had flown over the facility. French police intercepted one of them, it added.

“The presence of these drones had no impact on the security of the installations,” EDF said in a statement, adding that it planned to file a police complaint against Greenpeace.

ABC News reports that the latest drone “attack” follows a series of similar stunts by Greenpeace. The group says it stages these stunts to expose the vulnerabilities of French nuclear plants.

In October last year, Greenpeace activists breached the perimeter security of EDF’s Cattenom nuclear plant, and then launched fireworks over the plant.

“Spent-fuel pools must be turned into bunkers in order to make nuclear plants safer,” said Yannick Rousselet, Greenpeace France’s chief anti-nuclear campaigner.

EDF insists the spent-fuel pool structures can withstand natural disasters and accidents.

Separately, a French parliamentary investigation into nuclear security is to due to be concluded this week, with a report presented to parliament on Thursday.

Several Greenpeace activities have been handed suspended jail sentences and fines since the beginning of the year for their anti-nuclear antics.

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