A method and apparatus for diamond wire cutting of metal structures, such as nuclear reactor vessels, is provided. A diamond wire saw having a plurality of diamond beads with beveled or chamfered edges is provided for sawing into the walls of the metal structure. The diamond wire is guided by a plurality of support structures allowing for a multitude of different cuts. The diamond wire is cleaned and cooled by CO.sub.2 during the cutting process to prevent breakage of the wire and provide efficient cutting. Concrete can be provided within the metal structure to enhance cutting efficiency and reduce airborne contaminants. The invention can be remotely controlled to reduce exposure of workers to radioactivity and other hazards.