Greenpeace Crashes Superman Drone Into Nuclear Power Plant To Expose Facility’s Dangers

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“This is a highly symbolic action: it shows that spent fuel pools are very accessible, this time from the air, and therefore extremely vulnerable to attack.”

Greenpeace France on Tuesday crashed a drone dressed as Superman into the Bugey nuclear energy plant, located about 20 miles east of Lyon, to expose how vulnerable that facility is to a terrorist attack and highlight the broader dangers of this type of power generation.

The activists told AFP that the drone struck “a storage pool for spent nuclear fuel next to a reactor, one of the most radioactive areas at the site.”

“This is a highly symbolic action: it shows that spent fuel pools are very accessible, this time from the air, and therefore extremely vulnerable to attack,” Yannick Rousselet, head of Greenpeace France’s anti-nuclear campaign, said in a statement.


Greenpeace France spokesman Cyril Cornier told Le Parisien, in French, that the action itself did not pose any danger to the plant, its workers, or the public, but insisted that by crashing the flying device into the plant’s “most fragile point,” they had proven beyond any doubt that the security of the facility “is absolutely not assured.”

Responding to the action, the French electricity group EDF said that police had intercepted one of two drones piloted by Greenpeace and announced plans to file a formal complaint with authorities. EDF also claimed, “The fuel building is key for security, designed in particular to withstand natural or accidental damage.”

Greenpeace EU, on Twitter, called EDF’s response “worrying.”

France derives about 75 percent of its electricity from 19 state-controlled plants, according to the World Nuclear Association. Activists worldwide have repeatedly sought to draw attention to the dangers of this type of power generation – but particularly in France, where it is so prevalent.

Last October, Greenpeace France activists entered another of EDF’s nuclear plants and set off fireworks. At the time, the group emphasized on Twitter, “These installations are vulnerable.” AFP reports that in February, “eight activists were sentenced to jail terms or fines” for participating in the firework action.

  • Nylene13

    Go Greenpeace!

  • Niemand

    The people at Greenpeace, like those at PETA, seem to have lost their damned minds!

    The death toll just of nameable humans each year around the world from fossil-fuel extraction and use is much higher than the total number of nameable humans who’ve died or even been injured by the extraction and use of radioactive material since its first use. Moreover, energy generation by combustion is guaranteed to kill every living creature above the level of roach on the planet.

    Road accidents alone kill over 1M humans/year and injure 20-50M.

    I’m with Hansen, Lovelock, et al.: nukes and fertility reduction are our only hope, and then only if we get busy on them Really Soon.

  • Margaret Flowers

    This is a myth. Nuclear energy is dirty and energy intensive. We don’t actually know the number of deaths related to nuclear energy. We know that there is no safe way to extract uranium. There are over 15,000 abandoned uranium mines in the US, most of them shallow or open pit mines that are continuing to emit radioactive and heavy metals into the air, land and water. They are causing cancers, autoimmune diseases and birth defects. See our Clean Up the Mines campaign to learn more. There is no good way to deal with nuclear waste as well. It lasts for thousands of years. And on top of that, all it takes is one bad day for nuclear energy to cause widespread illness and environmental destruction. Look at Chernobyl and Fukushima. I’m with Ralph Nader – nuclear energy is a ridiculous, dirty and dangerous way to boil water.

  • Niemand

    Odd, then, that Hansen and Lovelock (physicist and chemist resp.) as well as others with big credentials in science believe that it’s our best chance.

  • Margaret Flowers

    It is odd because nuclear isn’t affordable or rapid to build. Renewables such as wind and solar can be scaled up and are inexpensive. Other scientists are advocating for moving rapidly to wind and solar.

  • Jon

    What a mindless response! Have you not paid attention to Chernobyl and Fukushima? Have you not heard of half-life radiation lasting a quarter of a million years? Solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal power can provide all the electricity needed. The sun alone produces enough in one hour to power the world for a year! Civilian sue is also tied to the production of nuclear weapons, so count as well the unnecessary deaths of half a million (or more) From Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  • Niemand

    Is there a reason that my posts with cites are still “pending” more than 12 hours later?