Quintessa is committed to the long-term development and support of the AMBER software tool that allows users to build their own deterministic and probabilistic dynamic compartment models to represent the migration, degradation and fate of contaminants in environmental and engineered systems. The latest upgrade AMBER 5.6 has recently been released.
A key new feature in AMBER 5.6 is the capability to refer to values evaluated for one item in the expression used for another item within the same parameter. This is described as 'self-referencing' and is particularly useful when inputting functions that should provide a mass balance over a nameset (index). For example, users will be able to index water flows over compartments and use the product of the water flow from one compartment as an input to the water flow through another within the same parameter.
Other new features include:
- A new log file that is maintained when AMBER is run in batch mode, enabling users to see the history of messages reported by AMBER when running in batch mode.
- A new date and time output for batch mode, which helps to trace when automated outputs/reports are generated in batch mode and supports quality assurance checking.
- Refinement of the way in which the Laplace solver handles very small amounts, increasing the accuracy of results even further.
Recent applications of AMBER include:
- Use on behalf of the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to assess post-closure safety of a proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Canada. Regulatory submission documentation is available online, including supporting reports on the evaluation of post-closure safety for a Normal Evolution Scenario and for Disruptive Scenarios using AMBER.
- Application of AMBER to long-term modelling of contamination in small rural communities resulting from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station accident on behalf of JAEA. An AMBER model has been developed that enables a range of remediation options to be assessed for individual sites, based on measured levels of contamination, its distribution and patterns of land-use.
- Use as the modelling 'engine' behind the PRISM code for probabilistic modelling of radionuclide and heavy metal deposition from the atmosphere to UK agricultural systems on behalf of the Food Standards Agency. Dynamic soil, plant and animal models are used to simulate contaminant behaviour through to calculating potential concentrations in plant and animal food stuffs.
- Use by ANDRAD in support of safety assessments for the proposed near-surface disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste at the Saligny site in Romania.
- Use in support of safety assessment calculations for developing International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidance concerning the potential disposal of disused sealed radioactive sources in narrow diameter boreholes.
- Use by SoGIN to support the screening process for identifying potential sites for the near-surface disposal of low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Italy.