French officials launched an investigation after drones were spotted flying over nuclear plants.
France derives about 75% of its electricity from nuclear energy,
Somebody has been flying drones over nuclear power plants in France. Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said today (link in French) that an investigation has been launched to figure out who is responsible, and to “neutralize” the devices.
EDF, which operates France’s 58 reactors, said that drones were spotted over seven of its plants in recent weeks, usually late at night or early in the morning. The unmanned aircraft didn’t compromise the safety of the sites, the company said, but it has filed a complaint with police. France prohibits flights below 1,000 meters and within a five-kilometer radius of its nuclear plants (below 3,280 feet and within 3.1 miles).
Suspicion immediately turned to Greenpeace. The environmental activist group denied involvement, noting that “for each of its actions, Greenpeace acts openly and claims responsibility.”
In 2012 Greenpeace dropped a paraglider with a smoke bomb on a nuclear reactor in France.