Welcome to the January 2003 edition of Quintessa Update, the electronic newsletter of Quintessa Limited (www.Quintessa.org).
Quintessa has launched a new website, quintessa-online (www.quintessa-online.com). Quintessa-online is an initiative designed to explore the benefits of making scientific modelling tools available on the internet. Online modelling can:
- enable large numbers of people to interact with scientific models;
- allow users to access models that are frequently updated with new data or algorithms.
Where online modelling can be very powerful is in presenting and demonstrating key principles that underlie more detailed mathematical models. For example, the key features of global climate change modelling could be demonstrated to interested parties with a simple model that allows them to consider the possible impacts of different levels of reduction from present-day CO2 levels.
Online modelling can also be very useful for other reasons. For example, there may be a need for a number of people in remote locations to have access to a single model that uses data that is frequently updated at a central location, e.g. environmental monitoring data or financial information. An online currency converter is an example of a very simple model that works on these principles.
SafetyNet is the first scientific modelling tool to be made available at quintessa-online. It aims to make radioactive waste performance assessment available to a broad range of stakeholders and the public.
SafetyNet is a simple example of a performance assessment model that represents radioactive wastes in a near-surface repository. It aims to capture some of the main pathways by which radionuclides can travel into the environment and represents the main features - the repository, geosphere, and environmental media including rivers, soil and plants.
Users can change characteristics to see how they affect the calculated radiation dose to a hypothetical person farming the contaminated land. This can help those unfamiliar with performance assessments to get a better understanding of the principles, as well as identifying key characteristics of the repository and the environment.
If you have any suggestions for improving SafetyNet or for future online-modelling applications, or comments or questions about Quintessa-online we would like to hear them. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Version 4.4 of the AMBER compartment modelling software has been released by Enviros QuantiSci and Quintessa featuring a variety of enhancements, such as the inclusion of units checking. Since its release in 1996, AMBER has been applied by almost 50 organisations in 19 countries to a wide range of environmental modelling problems, ranging from the geologic disposal of spent nuclear fuel to the fate of organophosphates in the soil. To correspond with the release of version 4.4, two AMBER workshops were held in Yokohama (Japan) and Oxford (United Kingdom) to inform users of new developments and to provide a forum for sharing information on the application of the software. For more information please contact Richard Little.