Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Reuters: Greenpeace activist paraglides into French nuclear plant

From Reuters (5/2/2012):

A Greenpeace activist dropped a smoke flare as he flew over a French nuclear reactor on a paraglider on Wednesday, seeking to draw attention to what green activists call gaps in nuclear security four days before a presidential election runoff.

The plant's owner, EDF, confirmed an engine-powered paraglider had landed within its Bugey nuclear site in southeastern France.

The pilot flew over the plant and threw a red-smoke flare on the roof of a building before landing, television images showed.

"At no moment was the safety of the installations at risk," EDF said in a statement, adding that the pilot was caught by the police in charge of protecting the site.

Separately, another man entered the Civaux nuclear site in southwestern France through the truck gate and remained hidden for an hour in a thicket in the "surveillance zone" before being arrested, EDF said.

France's dependence on nuclear energy has been much debated ahead of the vote. France is more dependent on nuclear energy than any other country, relying on it to produce 75 percent of its electricity.

"This over flight shows the vulnerability of the French nuclear site to an air attack," Sophia Majnoni d'Intignano, in charge of nuclear questions at Greenpeace, said in a statement.

"While Germany took account of a plane crash in its safety tests, France still refuses to analyze this risk for our reactors."

Similarly, in December, Greenpeace activists entered the Nogent-sur-Seine plant near Paris, climbing onto one of the domes that houses a reactor, while other activists entered other nuclear installations.

Socialist presidential candidate Francois Hollande has said he would shut France's oldest nuclear plant if elected.

After the Fukushima disaster in March 2011, France along with other European countries, pledged to carry out safety tests on its 58 nuclear reactors to test their capacity to resist flooding, earthquakes, power outages, failure of the cooling systems and operational management of accidents.

But those did not include terrorist attacks, or the possibility of a plane crash.

(Reporting by Thierry Leveque and Sybille de La Hamaide, additional reporting by Marion Douet, editing by Maria Golovnina)

No need to directly attack a nuke plant, as Fukushima shows. All they need is to cut off electricity supply of any kind.


Anonymous said...

Shows how easy a target these nuke plants are... hey i heard from Rense that EXSKF is a woman, is it true?

Anonymous said...

No Nuke plant can withstand any kind of air plane crash. Even a small Cessna (propeller plane for 2 people) is sufficient. Just hit the switch yard and off-site power is gone. The least thing they will have to do is vent some 'natural tritium'. If you manage to tinker with the diesel (some sugar into the tank ...) beforehand it will go boom.

If you have a bigger plane you should smash it into the turbine building. Will rupture enough pipes, so that the cooling water will leak and off we go.

By the way, I am always amused by the Japanese being affair of North Korea's Nuke Bomb. North Korea does not need a bomb to destroy Japan. A simple conventional rocket is sufficient. Japan has voluntarily planted 56 potential nuke bombs all over its territory to make the task for North Korea or any other idiotic enemy much more simple.

OT @Anon 11:21 Does the gender of Ex-SKF really matter?

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of discussions with my dad many, many years ago - he being very much pro-nuclear and me being on the other end of the spectrum. He was a union representative in Germany who had to visit the nuclear power plant in Biblis once a month for ... heck, I don't know what reason. He bragged that after a few visits, they trusted him enough that they didn't even check him for ID or anything else anymore.

Granted, as the typical German "Spiessbuerger," (sorry, don't know a good English expression for that) he posed no threat of any kind to the plant. Nonetheless, I was as convinced then as I am now by the Greenpeace actions that security measures at nuclear power plants are insufficient. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Anonymous said...

If only one attack were successful in France, who would buy French wine again?

It is doubtful that these facilities could be fully secured, even with billions of euros spending.

The only rational solution is to replace them with wind and solar as soon as possible.

There is no future in nuclear. None.

Anonymous said...

Penly Nuclear Power Plant automatically shut down and won't be restarted before summer. This is gonna prove that one can't predict which NPP in France will accidentally blow up first:maybe dinosaur Fessenheim, maybe some other, unknown in the news so far.

Anonymous said...

Well, we can cool the plants with wine if there's no water.
Good job, paraglider !

Chibaguy said...

Employing bomb making technology to boil water is most likely the stupiest idea man has ever come up with. As some of the posters have expressed, building a plant is like placing a bomb near the public.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon May 2, 2012 1:36 PM

"Spiessbuerger", I think you are looking for the word "Philistine"

Anonymous said...

OT - @anon at 1:36: It's possible. If it's someone who is always totally correct and "straight." You know, the type that never got a parking ticket in his life, never broke a rule, never thought outside the box, etc.

Anonymous said...

anybody know what happened to fukushima diary? when I went there this AM I turn up some gardening site.

Mike said...

For those who read English, I recommend "Nuclear Power Plants as Weapons for the Enemy" by Bennett Ramberg (1984), the seminal work on the results of an airplane or conventional weapon attack on an NPP.


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