In the first phase of the ROBDEKON project, research and development work will focus on three domains in order to develop innovative, practical solutions that are economically attractive for users and companies.

Decommissioning of Nuclear Facilities

Not only in Germany, but also worldwide, the need for dismantling will rise significantly in the coming years and decades, since a large part of the plants currently in operation were built in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the great demand for dismantling services is only matched by a handful of specialist companies in Germany which are active both nationally and internationally. In addition to reducing the risk potential for workers, robotic systems can also contribute to the efficient implementation of the dismantling strategy.

Decontamination of Plant Components and Waste

In addition to radioactively contaminated plant components from nuclear facilities, plant components from the chemical industry in particular are often highly contaminated. Pumps, valves, corrugated hoses and other plant components are contaminated by contact with chemicals and reaction products from various manufacturing processes and can therefore not be disposed of in the usual disposal processes. Due to the ongoing dismantling of nuclear facilities and the significantly increased regulatory requirements for the treatment of contaminated plant components and scrap from, e.g. the chemical industry, a strongly growing market is emerging in this area. For this reason, ROBDEKON is focusing on the development of solution concepts for robot-based handling and treatment of contaminated plant components and waste.

Remediation of Contaminated Sites

Contaminated sites represent a major ecological burden. Their remediation contributes to a considerable improvement in the condition of the environment, puts sites to subsequent use and removes obstacles for investments. The »Act on the Protection against Harmful Soil Changes and the Remediation of Contaminated Sites« (Bundes-Bodenschutzgesetz - BBodSchG) defines nationwide uniform standards for the remediation of contaminated sites (e.g. decommissioned waste disposal plants, sites of decommissioned plants etc.). The revision of the law in 2017 will result in significantly higher requirements regarding the remediation and decontamination tasks for contaminated sites. In addition to the purely regulatory boundary conditions from the field of environmental protection, the land areas also represent an enormous economic value - production properties and properties in metropolitan areas must and should be put to subsequent use in the future. The technologies developed in the ROBDEKON Competence Center for the remediation of contaminated sites address this rapidly growing market.