Status, Barriers and Cost-Benefits of Robotic and Remote Systems Applications in Nuclear Decommissioning and Radioactive Waste Management


Robotics and remote systems (RRS) are essential technologies for work in the radiation environments typically encountered in the nuclear back-end, such as in radioactive waste management and decommissioning. In addition to enhancing radiation safety, there are many reasons to implement RRS, such as improving process safety and efficiency, reducing manual work or improving industrial and environmental safety.

The Expert Group on the Application of Robotic and Remote Systems in the Nuclear Back-end (EGRRS) was established under the auspices of the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMC) and the Committee on Decommissioning of Nuclear Installations and Legacy Management (CDLM). It supports NEA member countries in optimising the development of national radioactive waste (RW) management and decommissioning programmes through the application of robotics and remote systems.

This report is intended to support NEA member countries considering the leading and emerging RRS technologies, identify barriers to the implementation of RRS and to provide a basis for a cost-benefit methodology based on case studies of RRS applications in RW management, decommissioning and legacy management. The expert group also supports NEA member countries in enabling a wider application of RRS to encourage progress in scientific and technical knowledge and assist in the transformation towards a digital, data-driven process.