The NEA Expert Group on the Application of Robotics and Remote Systems in the Nuclear Back-end (EGRRS) met on 7-8 December 2021. Preparation of the group’s report Status, barriers and benefits of robotic and remote systems applications in nuclear decommissioning and radioactive waste management is now in its final stages and is expected to be completed during 2022. During the December meeting the group agreed to establish an organisational framework to address 2022–23 objectives. One of the key objectives for the group in this period is the topic of the meeting’s topical session: how to improve the regulatory framework for robotic and remote systems applications. Nine different contributors from a variety of backgrounds (legal, regulatory, industry, security, safety, radiation protection) addressed this topic from different points of view and their collective reflections, in addition to the group’s discussions, will be used as the basis for future NEA work in this area.
The EGRRS was first established in 2019 with the aim of supporting member country efforts to optimise national radioactive waste management and decommissioning programmes through the application of robotic and remote systems. The group focuses on issues around the implementation of robotic and remote systems in radioactive waste management, decommissioning and legacy management at both the national and international levels.