Systems and methods for dismantling a nuclear reactor are described. In one aspect the system includes a remotely controlled heavy manipulator ("manipulator") operatively coupled to a support structure, and a control station in a non-contaminated portion of a workspace. The support structure provides the manipulator with top down access into a bioshield of a nuclear reactor. At least one computing device in the control station provides remote control to perform operations including: (a) dismantling, using the manipulator, a graphite moderator, concrete walls, and a ceiling of the bioshield, the manipulator being provided with automated access to all internal portions of the bioshield; (b) loading, using the manipulator, contaminated graphite blocks from the graphite core and other components from the bioshield into one or more waste containers; and (c) dispersing, using the manipulator, dust suppression and contamination fixing spray to contaminated matter.
GOVERNMENT LICENSE RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. 130529, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has assigned No. S-126,321 to this invention. The government has certain rights in the invention.