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Analyzing the threat of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to nuclear facilities

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Abstract

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are among the major growing technologies that have many beneficial applications, yet they can also pose a significant threat. Recently, several incidents occurred with UAVs violating privacy of the public and security of sensitive facilities, including several nuclear power plants in France. The threat of UAVs to the security of nuclear facilities is of great importance and is the focus of this work. This paper presents an overview of UAV technology and classification, as well as its applications and potential threats. We show several examples of recent security incidents involving UAVs in France, USA, and United Arab Emirates. Further, the potential threats to nuclear facilities and measures to prevent them are evaluated. The importance of measures for detection, delay, and response (neutralization) of UAVs at nuclear facilities are discussed. An overview of existing technologies along with their strength and weaknesses are shown. Finally, the results of a gap analysis in existing approaches and technologies is presented in the form of potential technological and procedural areas for research and development. Based on this analysis, directions for future work in the field can be devised and prioritized.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Analyzing the threat of unmanned aerial vehicles
(UAV) to nuclear facilities
Alexander Solodov
1,2
Adam Williams
3
Sara Al Hanaei
1
Braden Goddard
4
Published online: 18 April 2017
Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017
Abstract Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are among the major growing tech-
nologies that have many beneficial applications, yet they can also pose a significant
threat. Recently, several incidents occurred with UAVs violating privacy of the
public and security of sensitive facilities, including several nuclear power plants in
France. The threat of UAVs to the security of nuclear facilities is of great impor-
tance and is the focus of this work. This paper presents an overview of UAV
technology and classification, as well as its applications and potential threats. We
show several examples of recent security incidents involving UAVs in France, USA,
and United Arab Emirates. Further, the potential threats to nuclear facilities and
measures to prevent them are evaluated. The importance of measures for detection,
delay, and response (neutralization) of UAVs at nuclear facilities are discussed. An
overview of existing technologies along with their strength and weaknesses are
shown. Finally, the results of a gap analysis in existing approaches and technologies
is presented in the form of potential technological and procedural areas for research
and development. Based on this analysis, directions for future work in the field can
be devised and prioritized.
SAND2017-4308J: Unclassified, unlimited release. Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram
laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation,
for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-
AC04-94AL85000.
&Alexander Solodov
alexander.solodov@gmail.com
1
Department of Nuclear Engineering, Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, UAE
2
Gulf Nuclear Energy Infrastructure Institute (GNEII), Abu Dhabi, UAE
3
Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM, USA
4
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University,
Richmond, VA, USA
Secur J (2018) 31:305–324
https://doi.org/10.1057/s41284-017-0102-5
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
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