Drones can pose a number of problems for [utilities infrastructure]. Flyovers could be used for reconnaissance by hostile actors, for example in the collection of photos and video footage of guard movements and the site layout. This could help to prepare for a ground-based attack. Drones could also provide air support in the event of an actual ground-based attack: They could drop explosives to damage power or communications networks, or could deliver weapons to insiders within the plant. Drones could also be used to bomb spent-fuel pools, which are less well protected than reactor cores.
The flights have also exposed troubling vulnerabilities in attribution, detection and interception. Identifying the perpetrators has proved difficult thus far. Security experts appear stumped and have offered up any number of potential culprits that include “hobbyists,” anti-nuclear groups, business competitors, terrorist organizations and nation states.