Robotic Technologies for Volume-Optimized Conditioning of Radioactive Waste – VIRERO

Blank A, Havenith A, Kohn S, Querfurth F, Zwingel M, Metzner M, Franke J (2020)

Publication Language: English

Publication Type: Conference contribution, Conference Contribution

Publication year: 2020

Conference Proceedings Title: ICOND 2020 Conference Proceedings

Event location: Aachen, Germany DE


An appropriate conditioning of radioactive waste is in the focus of institutions responsible for disposal. In 2018, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety provided an overview of the existing stock of radioactive waste respectively waste to be disposed. Therein a forecast is given regarding the expected volume of waste, indicating that the disposal volume of Konrad repository (303.000 m³) is just sufficient. Due to limited capacities a volume-optimized conditioning is advantageous and preferable. However, post-conditioning of waste, especially of waste with higher dose rates, requires remote handling. Thereby, compliance to the waste acceptance criteria for disposal of Konrad must be ensured. In cases without an adequate waste declaration or if discrepancies are detected by a non-destructive characterization, waste contingents must be extracted, characterized, re-sorted and re-packaged. Even for properly documented contingents, reconditioning may save costs by increasing packing densities.

Within the R&D-project VIRERO (VIrtual REmote RObotics for Radiometric Sorting, 10/2020 – 09/2023) a robot-based system for volume-optimized conditioning and testing is realized. The utilized disruptive robotic and radiological technologies enable efficient dismantling, handling and radiological waste sorting. Thereby, a spatially resolved radiological characterization is combined during image processing with complementary cameras. An augmented virtuality teleoperation provides the accurate simultaneous control of multiple robots through a single operator. For improved efficiency while maintaining high safety standards, the automated conditioning of highly individual waste and the relieve of operator workload are within the research scope of this project.

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Blank, A., Havenith, A., Kohn, S., Querfurth, F., Zwingel, M., Metzner, M., & Franke, J. (2020). Robotic Technologies for Volume-Optimized Conditioning of Radioactive Waste – VIRERO. In AiNT GmbH (Eds.), ICOND 2020 Conference Proceedings. Aachen, Germany, DE.


Blank, Andreas, et al. "Robotic Technologies for Volume-Optimized Conditioning of Radioactive Waste – VIRERO." Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Nuclear Decommissioning, Aachen, Germany Ed. AiNT GmbH, 2020.

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