‘16 nuclear reactors vulnerable to terrorist drone attacks’ – UK govt adviser
Britain’s aging nuclear power plants are vulnerable to terrorist attacks by unmanned drones that could kill thousands of people, a government adviser has warned.
John Large, an engineer for Britain’s Atomic Energy Authority, says ministers are ignoring risks posed by nuclear terror assaults.
Nuclear power stations around the UK suffered 37 security breaches in 2014 – the highest number since 2011.
Large is calling for urgent security reforms. He is also demanding the government set up a major operation to test the resilience of Britain’s power plants against prospective attacks.
Too much energy is focused on risk assessments relating to accidents at nuclear power plants than potential terror attacks, the engineer argues.
In a bid to sketch out contingency responses, Large analyzed a series of hypothetical attack scenarios. Each one’s scale of devastation varied, with casualties ranging from one to tens of thousands.
The engineer concluded unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) access to nuclear plants in the UK “is relatively unimpeded.” He said drones pose a real risk to Britain’s 16 nuclear reactors.
As the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) continues to wreak bloodshed in the Middle East, counter-terror experts say the group plans to create a “dirty bomb” for use in the West.
IS militants are already thought to have recruited chemical weapons experts to assist with this objective.
Conservative MP Mark Pritchard, a member of Britain’s Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, said Large’s policy suggestions would be considered seriously by the government.
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