Welcome to the July 2010 edition of AMBER Update, the electronic newsletter for 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.
AMBER is being used by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority SSM (formerly SKI) to support the regulatory review of barrier performance and safety functions of the spent nuclear fuel repository proposed by SKB. For example, AMBER has been used to check radionuclide transport calculations for the pinhole failure mode and the lost buffer failure mode scenarios (e.g. SKI Report 2008:12). A novel feature of this work is that output from discrete fracture network (DFN) flow calculations has been processed using path-plotting software to provide input to the AMBER radionuclide transport calculations. For more information, please contact Peter Robinson.
AMBER has been used on behalf of the Canadian Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO) to construct a comprehensive system model for assessing the postclosure safety of a proposed deep geologic repository for OPG's low and intermediate level radioactive waste. The AMBER calculations draw on detailed 2D radial groundwater flow and transport calculations undertaken using FRAC3DVS. As a verification exercise for the radionuclide transport calculations, a comparison was made between an assessment-level model implemented in AMBER and tracer transport calculations undertaken using FRAC3DVS for Cl-36. This study concluded that overall the results are sufficiently similar to build confidence in the safety assessment results, noting that the AMBER fluxes are conservative and therefore provide an additional margin of safety when comparing assessment results to criteria. Moreover the assessment-level AMBER calculations considered 47 radionuclides, included time-dependent processes such as waste degradation and repository resaturation, and included the biosphere system. The reports for the safety assessment can be downloaded here. Please contact Russell Walke for more information.
In this section, our AMBER experts share some of their advice for building and using AMBER models:
Please contact the support team if you have any questions about using AMBER or suggestions for hints and tips to be shared with other users in future versions of the newsletter.
An updated logo has been developed for AMBER together with a new set of icons for the next software release (Version 5.4). Moreover a decision has been taken that Version 6 of AMBER will be substantially redeveloped, for example to facilitate the use of realistic geometries, to extend the range of non-linearities, and to improve the user interface. In the next issue of AMBER Update we will be seeking input from users as to what features they would like to see in AMBER 6.
To mark the transition in the ownership of AMBER, we are offering a one-time special offer to upgrade to the current version (AMBER 5.3). Letters were distributed to users in April, please contact Russell Walke if you would like to pursue this option or have any associated questions.