Swedish authorities are investigating multiple reports of rogue drones being spotted over the country’s nuclear power plants, including one that provides 14% of Sweden’s total electricity output.
Reports of the bizarre drone sightings started pouring in on Friday evening when the security guard at Forsmark nuclear power plant alerted the police to a drone flying over the protected area that houses the facility.
According to initial reports, drones were suspected to be surveilling at least four nuclear power facilities in the country – three active and one decommissioned. But the Swedish Police Authority has officially confirmed only two drone incidents – one over Forsmark and another over the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant.
Both sightings are being investigated as “extremely serious incidents,” with the police specifically looking for a connection between the two. In an incident report on its website, Swedish Police Authority explains that officials tried to locate the rogue drones with their own drones and helicopters, but without success.
The Swedish police also confirm that the drones did not land or drop anything in the protected zone. It’s worth highlighting that the drones flying illegally were “large-sized” and powerful enough to “withstand the high winds in the area.”
Meanwhile, in an interview with the national broadcaster SVT, Swedish Defense Minister Peter Hultqvist has emphasized that this is not the first time drones have been observed over protected zones. Hultqvist says:
This is a thing that happens from time to time. We have also changed the legislation so that this type of drone can be shot down. Now it is up to the police to investigate.
There are currently no suspects in either of the cases, but Reuters points out the drone incursions came a day after Sweden’s military started patrolling the main town on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland amid increasing tensions between NATO and Russia and the recent deployment of Russian landing craft in the Baltic.
The United States is no stranger to unidentified drone incidents either. An online publication recently released an interactive map of 10,400 incident reports, allowing users to explore drone incidents around strategic infrastructure also in intimate detail.
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