Quintessa Update November 2009 Header Image

Welcome to the November 2009 edition of Quintessa Update, the electronic newsletter of Quintessa Limited.

New Beginning for AMBER


We are pleased to announce that Quintessa has acquired the intellectual property rights (IPR) to the AMBER software package. This marks a new beginning for AMBER, and we are keen to hear from current and potential users how we can serve you better either by technical improvements to the software (e.g., non-linear solvers) or by more extensive support through workshops and training courses.

The acquisition of the AMBER IPR replaces the previous arrangement whereby Quintessa developed, maintained and supported the software on behalf of Enviros. Quintessa is now the sole point of contact for existing and new users. Russell Walke continues to be the Quintessa project manager for AMBER, with Peter Robinson continuing to provide software development support.

Please contact Russell by clicking here to give us your feedback, or here to access a free demonstration version of AMBER.


AMBER Screenshot

AMBER is a flexible software tool that allows users to build their own probabilistic dynamic compartment models to represent the migration, degradation and fate of contaminants in environmental and engineered systems. The robust solvers enable a wide range of complex time-dependencies to be represented including barrier degradation and environmental change.

AMBER is used by over 100 licensees in over thirty countries around the world to support a wide range of environmental applications, including:

Example Applications

Recent applications of AMBER have included:

AMBER Screenshot Postclosure safety assessment modelling for a proposed Deep Geologic Repository (DGR) for low and intermediate level radioactive waste in Canada for the Nuclear Waste Management Organisation (NWMO). The total system model developed in AMBER includes the release of radioactive, heavy metal and organic contaminants in gaseous and liquid phases, and their potential migration via the host rock and shaft seal system. The model also represents advection in the shallow groundwater system, subsequent well abstraction and discharge to Lake Huron with associated biosphere and foodchain modelling. The modelling demonstrates the robustness of the site and disposal concept.

AMBER Screenshot Integrated site-wide performance assessment tool for Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL). The AMBER model represents the full range of potential sources of residual contamination at the Dounreay site at closure, including authorised waste disposal facilities, contaminated land and sub-structures, together with a range of decommissioning options for each. The long-term modelling dynamically includes important mechanisms of environmental change for the site, including climate change, sea-level change and coastal erosion. The resulting tool enables a range of different decommissioning scenarios to be assessed on an integrated, site-wide basis in support of site management plans.

AMBER Screenshot Probabilistic agricultural foodchain modelling for the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA). The PRISM code enables radionuclides and heavy metals in the foodchain to be modelled following routine and accidental atmospheric releases. Integrated AMBER models of the soil-plant and animal systems are combined with a database of parameter values and distributions. A complex range of short and long-term deposition and agricultural scenarios can be built and assessed via a separate graphical-user interface that facilitates routine application of the code, whilst the underlying AMBER cases are fully available for expert users to interrogate.