Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

FOCUS

The battle for UK Labour’s leadership

Read more

France

France on alert after mystery drones spotted over nuclear plants

© Philippe Desmazes / AFP | The EDF nuclear power plant in Bugey, southeast France

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2014-10-30

France has launched an investigation into unidentified drones that have been spotted over nuclear plants operated by state-owned utility EDF, its interior minister said on Thursday.

Seven nuclear plants across the country were flown over by drones between Oct. 5 and Oct. 20, an EDF spokeswoman said, without any impact on the plants’ safety or functioning.

“There’s a judicial investigation under way, measures are being taken to know what these drones are and neutralise them,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told France Info radio on Thursday, without specifying the measures.

The drone sightings may renew concerns about the safety of nuclear plants in France, the world’s most nuclear-reliant country with 58 reactors on 19 sites operated by EDF.

Activists from environmental campaigning group Greenpeace forced their way into the Fessenheim plant on the German border earlier this year and have a history of breaking into nuclear plants in France.

Greenpeace denied any involvement in the pilotless flight activity.

“For all its actions, Greenpeace always acts openly and claim responsibility,” Yannick Rousselet, head of Greenpeace’s anti-nuclear campaign, said in a statement. “What is happening is very worrying,” he said, adding that France’s nuclear research institute CEA near Paris had also been flown over, citing unspecified sources.

EDF named the plants over which drones had been spotted as Creys-Malville and Bugey in the southeast, Blayais in the soutwest, Cattenom and Chooz in the northeast, Gravelines in the north and Nogent-sur-Seine, the closest plant to Paris.

The unmanned aircraft were spotted late in the evening, at night or very early in the morning, EDF said. It is prohibited to fly less than 1,000 meters above nuclear plants and within a 5 kilometer radius.

Each plant has filed a formal complaint with the police against the anonymous people behind the drone flights.

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-10-30

  • UK- NUCLEAR POWER

    France’s EDF to build new UK nuclear reactors

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Is France set to backtrack on its nuclear promises?

    Read more

  • France

    Greenpeace stunt at French nuclear plant revives debate

    Read more

COMMENT(S)