Modelling Routine Releases of Radioactivity

AMBER is being used for modelling the transfer of radionuclides in the environment and through the food chain, following routine releases of radionuclides.

An example of this application is the incorporation of AMBER into the PRISM code that enables radionuclides and heavy metals in the food chain to be modelled following routine and accidental atmospheric releases. PRISM was developed for the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and allows probabilistic food chain assessments to be carried out. 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.

AMBER can be used to model the atmospheric dispersion, and the subsequent deposition, of radionuclide releases. One of the example files supplied with AMBER considers atmospheric deposition to a pond. The source term is based on a basic R91 Gaussian plume model, which was later extended by the UK Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee (ADMLC).

Recently, AMBER was used to model the uptake of C-14 in pasture following operational releases from the La Hague nuclear fuel reprocessing plant in Northern France (Limer et al., 2015).