Welcome to the September 2017 edition of AMBER Update, the electronic newsletter for the AMBER software tool. AMBER allows users to build their own 3D deterministic and probabilistic dynamic compartment models to represent the migration, degradation and fate of contaminants in environmental and engineered systems.

AMBER 6.2 Released

The latest version of AMBER was released to existing customers with software maintenance agreements. This version includes the following new features:

  • export of the contents of both Model View and Spatial View tabs as images;
  • improved warning messages associated with the use of illegal characters in the names of parameters, NameSets, NameSet items, compartments and transfers;
  • right-click delete option for objects in the Model View Tab;
  • use of Tab and Shift+Tab to navigate around parameter grids with dual multiplicity; and
  • new internal parameters BqToKg and KgToBq.

AMBER Spatial Model
In addition to the features listed above, AMBER 6.2 includes other minor feature updates as well as various bug fixes.

If you have a valid software maintenance agreement, please Download AMBER 6.2. If not, feel free to Download AMBER 6.2 Demo.

 AMBER 6.2   AMBER 6.2 Demo 

If you would like to renew your maintenance agreement, please contact us.

Borehole Disposal of Disused Sealed Radioactive Sources

Many countries have disused sealed radioactive sources (DSRSs) that need to be managed and disposed of carefully and in a safe and secure manner. Increasing attention is being given to the disposal of such sources in borehole facilities with a view to providing a safe and cost-effective disposal option.

Borehole Disposal Image

AMBER has been used to carry out a generic post-closure radiological safety assessment (GSA) for the borehole disposal concept in support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), with the purpose of identifying the concept's key safety features, under varying disposal system conditions, in order to support the concept design and licensing processes, and facilitate its site-specific implementation. The GSA has been undertaken using an approach that is consistent with best international practice. Specifically, the ISAM safety assessment approach has been used, with the aim of ensuring that the assessment is undertaken and documented in a consistent, logical and transparent manner.

IAEA Building

In January 2017, Quintessa delivered AMBER training to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Ghana (GNRA) and the Atomic Energy Licencing Board of Malaysia (AELB) in Vienna, Austria, through an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) technical cooperation programme. GNRA and AELB will be using AMBER to help their evaluation of the safety cases of potential borehole disposal of DSRSs that will be submitted by the implementers in their home countries. The training covered the context of modelling within a safety assessment methodology, the theory behind compartment modelling and exercises in using AMBER.

AMBER 6.2 Tutorial Video

Biosphere Dose Assessment under Different Climates

An industrial summer placement student, Mathilde Santucci, has implemented a mathematical model in AMBER developed to consider the impact of different climatic conditions upon potential doses to humans arising from a deep geological radioactive waste disposal facility. The mathematical model was developed as part of the IAEA programme entitled Environmental Modelling for Radiation Safety (EMRAS II).

Bioshpere AMBER

The model makes use of AMBER’s NameSet option functionality to be able to run calculations for different reference climate locations (Marrakesh, Magdeburg, Rostov and Sokankylä), soil types and also the nature of release to the biosphere. A drop-down menu is used to select the options to be considered for a particular calculation. The split Main Panel functionality can then be used to show outputs from different calculations.

Future Enhancements

Quintessa is fully committed to the long-term development and support of AMBER, with on-going development and annual software updates. For AMBER 6.3, we plan to enhance AMBER’s spatial awareness and 3D visualisation capabilities further with the rendering of outputs and results onto the 3D view. This would allow users to develop videos of evolving spatial concentrations. Other developments planned for the future include allowing spatial models to evolve with time due to long-term processes such as erosion.

We very much welcome feedback about AMBER, including ideas and suggestions for further developments that would help to maintain its utility and applicability to a wide range of contaminant transport and risk assessment situations.

AMBER Support

Quintessa continues to support AMBER, both through directed support to licence holders and by applying the software to safety and performance assessment studies of contaminants in the environment. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about AMBER, its application and/or about our support and training programme.