Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's the superman-shaped drone that environmental group Greenpeace flew into a wall of EDF's 3,580 MW Bugey nuclear facility on July 3.
The French utility said two unmanned aircraft had been flown over the facility near Lyon—one of which was intercepted by French police. The other crashed into the spent-fuel pool building.
The Greenpeace stunt was intended to highlight the vulnerability of spent-fuel buildings, which the activist group claims cannot adequately withstand external attacks or natural disasters.
It was not Greenpeace’s first attempt at exposing the alleged weakness of spent-fuel building confinement walls at a French nuclear plant. In October, eight activists broke into EDF’s 5,200 MW Cattenom plant near the border with Luxembourg.
The protesters launched fireworks over the plant before being detained, according to EDF officials.
In November, 22 Greenpeace activists were arrested by French police after breaking into EDF’s 3,824 MW Cruas-Meysse plant, near the town of Montélimar.
Spent-fuel pools were again the target. Four protesters set off flares after scaling a building containing pools used to cool highly radioactive spent fuel rods.