Robotic & dustless scabbling for most surfaces

Is this your challenge?

concrete nuclear tower
Photo by Tommaso Cantelli on Unsplash

Nuclear power plants, reprocessing facilities and waste repositories often present areas that preclude human access Decontamination is a key decommissioning activity. It is used to accomplish several goals, such as reducing the dose level impact in a facility to allow for easier access during dismantling (radioprotection), minimising the potential for spreading contamination during further dismantling (safety), allowing for the disposal of waste in a lower category or even optimising clearance of material (ALARP & cost savings), reducing occupational exposures, allowing for the reuse of components or facilitating waste management by reducing the volume of materials requiring storage and disposal in licensed disposal facilities.

It is often the case, in nuclear power plants, reprocessing facilities and waste repositories, that surface decontamination would require mechanical scabbling techniques on concrete, cement or brick surfaces (coated or uncoated). With a large number of these scenarios presenting challenging geometries, integrated and compliant techniques for the efficient scabbling (or milling) of these surfaces are in demand in a growing decommissioning sector.

inTechBrew’s insight

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Astillo, a company specialised in the design and manufacture of machine and tool for the surface removal of pollutants, benefits from more than 20 years of experience in the sector of surface treatment. Primarily involving the stripping or decontamination of pollutants (asbestos, lead, PCBs, PAHs, radioelements…), Astillo’s sound knowledge of the work processes, has allowed them to develop technologies based on function and operational performance.

For instance, Astillo’s self-supporting semi-remote AWF160 system is capable of removing paints and coatings from walls indoors or outdoors up to 7 m in height, with no detectable increase in airborne exposures (efficient vacuum attachments), the guarantee that all personnel exposition to dose is kept as low as possible (semi-remote operation) and the potential to accommodate a wide range of surfaces geometry and types (modular scabbling head). The equipment is also detachable into elements allowing the easy passage through doors or other access. Furthermore, with COTS solutions to accommodate varying geometries (flat, curved, angled) as well as hardness and thickness of material to be removed, we, at inTechBrew, think that Astillo’s products are certainly worth considering to optimise mechanical decontamination processes, improve waste segregation and, consequently, effectively reduce the overall cost of waste disposal.

decontamination innovation
On-site worker using Astillo’s technology for scabbling

User case 1

preussen elektra logo

Preussen Elektra, Kernkraftwerk Stade, Nuclear Research Centre, Stade, Germany

Decontamination – Contracted through REINWALD Demolition

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  • Decontamination (Beta/Gamma) of high-performance reinforced concrete (of a class greater than C60).
  • Scabbling to a depth of 10mm.
  • Various machines were used: AWF160 (semi-automatic wall), ACF160 (ceiling), C25 (angle) and A26 (floor) (see pictures).
  • Coupled with suction and waste collection system, the equipment allows for dust-free removal (no risk of recontamination), increase yields (and therefore exposure times) and reduce arduousness.
floor scabbling nuclear
Floor scabbling with the A26
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Wall scabbling with support with the AWF160
nuclear decontamination
The AWF160 also works on circular surfaces
wall nuclear decontamination
The ACF160 system can also be applied to ceilings

User case 2


ORANO – FBFCi (Orano-Tecnubel), Dessel, Belgium

Fuel manufacturing and assembly plant – Decommissioning

  • Alpha decontamination.
  • Dust-free removal (no risk of recontamination).
  • Astillo’s C25 was used to clean the 45° junctions formed by the assembly of reinforced slabs in concrete cells.
  • Based on Astillo’s A80, a bespoke machine was used for the decontamination of 3 km of concrete pipes (interior and exterior) of 300 and 500 mm in diameter.
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Wall scabbling with the C25
decontamination scabbling innovation nuclear
Top view of the A80 device
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Pipe scabbling with the A80
Bottom view of the A80 device

The technology

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vertical scabbling structure
horizontal scabbling structure

ASTILLO’s milling equipment are meeting the highest standards in fabrication and performance.

ASTILLO’s instruments can:

–        Efficiently remove dust captured at source,

–        Be remotely controlled by an operator,

–        Work on a wide variety of surface and coatings (e.g., paint on concrete, glue on pavement, bitumen on cement, glue on steel, asbestos…),

–        Be engineered for bespoke applications.

The range of equipment offered by ASTILLO include (but is not limited to):

AWF160: semi-remote wall milling machine

Working width: 160mm, Working depth: 0-12mm 

Vacuum link: Ø75mm 

Spindle speed: 8 600 rpm, Milling speed: 0-6m/min 

Power: 3,2Kw, Voltage: 230V / 16A; Weight: ~ 150kg

A80: milling tool

Working width: 80mm, Working depth: 0-12mm 

Vacuum link: Ø50mm 

Spindle speed: 11 500 rpm 

Power: 1 900 W, Voltage: 230V / 50Hz, Weight: 4,5kg

C25: milling machine (angular)

Working width: 25mm

Vacuum link: Ø50mm

Spindle speed: 11 500 rpm

Voltage: 230V / 50Hz, Power: 1 700 W, Weight: 3.5 kg

ACF160: ceiling milling machine (with scaffolding) 

Working width: 160mm, Working depth: 0-12mm 

Vacuum link: Ø75mm 

Spindle speed: 6 600rpm 

Voltage: 230V / 16A, Power: 2,6Kw, Weight: 95kg (without scaffolding)

Any questions ? Interested in another dustless scabbling system ? Do not hesitate to contact us directly, we will help you find a fit-for-purpose, cost-efficient solution to your challenge.

Logo astillo

Astillo SARL

2 rue du stade

67160 Steinseltz


Mr Yves Kettering (Technical Manager)

Phone : +33 88 53 15 37

E-mail :


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