Near Surface Disposal of LLW

A core application of AMBER is in assessing the migration and fate of radionuclides from near-surface disposal facilities for low-level and intermediate radioactive waste.

At the top level a series of sub-models for the near-field, geosphere and biosphere can be implemented in AMBER, and these can be further discretised. Typically the following processes are included in the model:

  • container failure;
  • leaching from the waste due to infiltration of rainwater;
  • water-borne transport through the engineered structure and unsaturated zone;
  • advection and dispersion through an aquifer;
  • abstraction of irrigation and other water;
  • leaching from the soil due to water infiltration;
  • erosion from the soil;
  • ingestion of drinking water;
  • ingestion of soil;
  • external irradiation from soil;
  • inhalation of suspended atmospheric material;
  • ingestion of meat and milk;
  • ingestion of crops.

Quintessa employees have delivered a number of training courses on near-surface disposal modelling and wider aspects of safety assessment in support of the IAEA radioactive waste safety programme.

AMBER Trench CaseLead image courtesy of ONDRAF/NIRAS.