Research work on the decommissioning of nuclear facilities within the scope of the program-oriented funding IV of the Helmholtz Association

Initial situation
Within the scope of the  Program-orientated funding IV of the Helmholtz Association research on the subject of “decommissioning of nuclear facilities” is carried out by the department “Decommissioning of Conventional and Nuclear Buildings” of the TMB institute.

The strategic goal is to develop innovative technologies for the safe and efficient decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Here, virtual reality-based approaches and autonomous decommissioning technologies are pursued with the aim of minimizing radiation exposure and costs.

The overarching objective includes the development of technical skills over the next few years in connection with decommissioning, disposal and site rehabilitation.

Research scope and objective at TMB
As a result of the German energy transition, technical innovations are required as quickly as possible in order to be able to guarantee the safe decommissioning of nuclear facilities. Research goals in this area within POF IV focus on the development of automation and remote handling technologies with the aim of:

  • waste minimization
  • support of the staff on site (improved safety and ergonomics in the workplace)
  • reduction of radiation exposure for workers and the general public
  • increasing the efficiency of decommissioning procedures

The research activities listed are carried out in a strong network of national and international research institutions and with industry. These steps support, simplify and standardize the lengthy and comprehensive process of decontamination and the subsequent clearance measurement in nuclear power plants. This is accompanied by a Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach. This enables a targeted planning of the decontamination measurements, as well as the analysis of the conditioning status as well as the mechanical unit and the holistic documentation of radioactive waste packaging.

With this holistic approach, the technical competence is further developed and a comprehensive database for the dismantling of nuclear facilities is set up. All of this expertise forms the basis for sustainable competence development based on the only German Chair for "Deconstruction and Decommissioning of Conventional and Nuclear Buildings" at KIT.