YHOK robot assists nuclear dec

Robotic systems for safe nuclear decommissioning

KUKA robots and systems have proved their mettle in the toughest industrial applications. The know-how and experience from decades of developing high-performance solutions can be transferred to the nuclear industry: All over the world, our robotic systems provide the basis for the safe, timely and cost-effective decommissioning of nuclear facilities.


The challenges of nuclear decommissioning

All over Europe, nuclear power is being phased out and on a global scale, more nuclear power reactors have closed than opened in recent years. The decommissioning of these facilities will become a major task in the next decades. Of several hundred nuclear power reactors in operation around the world, more than half have reached or are close to end of their operating lifetime

Environmental remediation is also necessary for sites that have been in use for similar activities: nuclear research, uranium milling, milling and processing of natural occurring radioactive materials. In such hazardous environments, KUKA robots could be deployed to ensure human workers’ safety.

Solutions for the nuclear decommissioning industry

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of automated production and assembly solutions, KUKA can build on years of experience. We know how to design robotics systems for the nuclear environment that meet the special challenges: being robust, reliable, safe, and also able to withstand a highly radioactive environment. We specialize in a number of different applications for the nuclear decommissioning industry, for example:

  • Handling and sorting of waste products

  • Size reduction

  • Box encapsulation

  • Lidding and swabbing

  • General housekeeping operations


High degree of dexterity with Joystick Control Unit

Many decommissioning tasks require work in environments hostile to humans. Remote operations and robotic systems play a vital part in reducing the exposure of personnel to ionizing radiation. Our joystick control is unique in this market and not available from other suppliers. It has been developed to seamlessly interface with the robot.

The unit allows an operator to use a robot remotely in manual mode, automated mode or a combination of the two. Programmed sequences significantly reduced the operator’s workload. Designed to work up to 100 metres away from a processing cell, the unit offers improved flexibility and better operational efficiency. It is particularly suited for complex jobs such as nuclear waste retrieval, sorting and levelling.

The KUKA joystick unit allows an operator to control the KUKA robot manually with up to six degrees of freedom.