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Security problems surround mysterious drone flights over France’s nuclear power plants

  Mystery drones are buzzing around French nuclear plants – should we be worried? The Conversation, Daniel Salisbury PhD Student and Research Assistant at King’s College London Christopher Hobbs Co-Director, Centre for Science and Security Studies (CSSS) at King’s College London 20 November 2014, 

 

Mysterious, seemingly coordinated, drones have appeared in the past month over a number of nuclear power stations in France. We don’t know what these flights are for or who is behind them. But perhaps the most crucial question they raise is whether this now widespread technology poses a threat to nuclear facilities.

Drone flights were first reported over at least 13 nuclear facilities in October. The flights have taken place mostly at night, involving drones of different sizes and capability, from smaller models that would need to be operated within the immediate vicinity to larger ones around two meters in size, which could be controlled from kilometres away. Flights have been carried out both in isolation and concurrently, with drones flown simultaneously over nuclear facilities hundreds of miles apart.

drone-near-nuclear-plant

Risk assessment

It is difficult to assess the risk posed by the recent drone flights as at this point it is unclear who is behind them and crucially what their intentions and capabilities are…….

worryingly, drones could be used to carry explosives for detonation close to the reactor or other sensitive parts of a nuclear site, although there have been no reports to date that these drones have been carrying a malicious cargo…….

Drones could also have other malicious uses. When mounted with small cameras, they could be used to conduct reconnaissance or to test security provisions before carrying out a follow-up attack by other means. Or they could be potentially used to drop equipment onsite to help out a malicious insider. A recent case in Belgium involving the sabotage of non-nuclear systems of a power station by an employee highlights that insiders can pose a real threat……..http://theconversation.com/mystery-drones-are-buzzing-around-french-nuclear-plants-should-we-be-worried-34447

November 22, 2014 - Posted by | France, safety

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