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Drones seen over nuclear plants

EDF files complaints after seven power stations targeted – and ‘worried’ Greenpeace denies involvement

POWER giant EDF has launched legal action after seven of its nuclear stations across France were overflown by drones.

The state-controlled company has filed complaints after security staff at the power stations spotted the drones, which were flying over the sites despite the law forbidding any aircraft from overlying the nuclear plants because of the obvious dangers.

First station affected, on October 5, was the Creys-Malville nuclear plant in Isère that is being dismantled. But other sites at Cattenom (Moselle), Blayais (Gironde) were also affected and four - Bugey (Ain) in the east, Chooz (Ardennes) and Gravelines (Nord) in the north and Nogent-sur-Seine (Aube) east of Paris - were targeted on one day, October 19.

EDF said that no one had so far admitted responsibility for the drone flights.

Anti-nuclear group Greenpeace, which used a drone to film one of its activists flying a paraglider into the Bugey plant in May 2012, has denied all involvement, saying it always carried out its protests against France’s 58 nuclear reactors in the open.

Spokesman Yannick Rousselet said flying drones over four sites on the one day was a major operation and it was “very worried” about the implications and the fact that EDF and police had given no indication of who was behind the flights.

He added that other sources had told them that other sites had also been overflown by drones but without the information being released by EDF. He said they were the Superphénix plant in Isère, the Atomic Energy Commision site at Saclay in Essonne, the Pierrelatte power station in Drôme and the Fessenheim site, which contains France’s oldest nuclear reactor.
Bugey nuclear power station - Photo: EDF-COLIN Matthieu

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