Courses: The GoldSim Contaminant Transport Module:

Unit 10 - Using Features of the RT Module: Modeling Decay Chains, Isotopes and Doses

Lesson 10 - Unit 10 Summary

There are two different versions of the Contaminant Transport Module that can be licensed and added to GoldSim: the CT (Contaminant Transport) Module and the RT (Radionuclide Transport) Module.  Your copy of GoldSim will have neither, one or the other (but not both), depending on your license.

Previous to this Unit, we have discussed features that are common to both the CT Module and the RT Module. In this Unit, however, we started to discuss several features and topics that are specific to the RT Module.

In particular, in this Unit, we discussed the following:

  • The RT Module allows decay chains (collections of daughter products) to be simulated (one species can be specified to transform into one or more others via a first order reaction), whereas the CT Module does not. In order to do so, the Species element looks a bit different in the RT Module. We began this Unit by explaining those differences. After doing so, we discussed how the RT Module can be used to simulate daughter products (i.e., reaction products).
  • To support modeling of radioactive decay chains, the RT Module allows you to utilize an extensive built-in database of radionuclide decay data. Use of this database was discussed in detail.
  • When modeling radionuclides, you will almost always need to represent multiple isotopes for various chemical elements (e.g., uranium-235 and uranium-238). Care must be taken when entering input data for isotopes, and this was discussed.
  • For most simulations involving radionuclide transport, you will not be interested in only computing concentrations or masses in environmental media. You will also be interested in computing doses to receptors (e.g., various populations who might come into contact with the species). GoldSim provides a specialized element (the Receptor) to facilitate the computation of doses that we discussed.  (The Receptor is also available in the CT Module, but is most commonly used in conjunction with radionuclide simulations.)

In the next Unit, we will discuss another key feature that is available only in the RT Module: the Source element. The Source element can be used to simulate the complex release mechanisms of contaminants from engineered systems.  This is particularly useful when simulating the behavior of proposed or existing waste disposal facilities, which have as part of their design engineered packages or containers in which the waste is placed prior to disposal.