A Superman-shaped drone and a miniature aircraft piloted by Greenpeace activists were smashed Tuesday morning against a building of a nuclear power plant near Lyon, with “no impact” on the safety of facilities according to the state-controlled EDF.
Two days before the submission of a parliamentary report on nuclear safety and security, the activist NGO wanted to draw attention to the “vulnerability” of spent fuel storage pools with a “highly symbolic” action at the Bugey power plant in Saint-Vulbas (Ain).
Posting photos and videos on social media, Greenpeace claims to have entered “in the no-fly zone” a drone, followed soon after by a radio-controlled aircraft. Activists voluntarily smashed them against the wall of the spent fuel storage pool next to reactor 2.
A second drone also entered the compound to film the scene.
“Tuesday, July 3, at 06H27, the teams at the Bugey nuclear power plant (Ain) detected the presence of two drones flying over the site.One of the two drones was intercepted on the ground by the gendarmerie forces. had no impact on the safety of the facilities,” EDF said in a statement.
The presence of the radio-controlled aircraft has been confirmed by the authorities who report the “flyover of a drone that dropped a model aircraft and a figurine foam (the Superman drone, ed) on the site on July 3”.
“This action had no impact on the safety of the facility, did not do damage to the safety devices,” adds the Ministry of Ecological Transition.
“The fuel building is a building important for safety, especially sized against natural or accidental external aggression, which ensures it a high robustness.The drone flyover does not pose a threat to safety”, assures still EDF, without confirming anything more.
The intrusion of the drones in the restricted airspace of the power plant is an offense under the code of defense and a complaint has been filed, leading to the opening of an investigation, it was reported.
This action comes after the intrusions of Greenpeace activists in the Cattenom (Moselle) power stations in October and Cruas (Ardèche) in November, which had the same objective of reporting flaws in the safety of the fuel pools. Pursued, the activists were sentenced for these actions, some scooping for the first time from prison.
The overflights of power plants by drones are part of the topics raised by the parliamentary commission of inquiry on the safety and security of nuclear facilities, whose highly anticipated report will be presented Thursday.
In 2014 and 2015, drones flew over several French nuclear sites, including the Bugey power station, located about 25 km from Lyon, but actions were not explained at the time. Greenpeace denied any involvement.