[Ed. – Drones might be used for attack, but also might be performing surveillance to support attack planning. The latter seems more likely. In either case, the nighttime operation is a bad sign.]
Unidentified drones big enough to carry explosives have flown over as many as seven nuclear power plants around France in the past three weeks, it has emerged.
Electricité de France (EDF), the state-owned operator of France’s 58 nuclear reactors across 19 sites, has filed a legal complaint against persons unknown following the flights over seven sites.
Sparking fears that the country’s reactors are unsafe from airborne attack, none of the drones were intercepted and their origins remain a mystery.
It is forbidden to enter airspace within a five kilometre perimeter around nuclear sites or to fly over them at an altitude of below 1,000 metres.
Yet, on October 5, a drone flew over the nuclear plant at Creys-Malville in Isère, southeastern France.
This was followed by airspace incursions in Gravelines, in the north, Cattenom, in eastern Moselle, Le Blayais in the western Gironde area, Bugey in eastern central, Chooz in the northeastern Ardennes and Nogent-sur-Seine southeast of Paris.
In one case, on October 19, drones were flown at the same time over several sites hundreds of miles apart. At least one of the unmanned aircraft was big enough to carry a bomb, experts said.
“We’re not talking about just one type of drone identified, but several,” a nuclear expert told Le Parisien. …
The flights took place at night or early morning. Another source told the paper that other sites, including a military nuclear location and one operated by Areva – the state-run nuclear company – were also targeted.