UK Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee

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The UK Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee (ADMLC) is composed of representatives from UK governmental departments, agencies and research organizations as well as from non-governmental organizations and groups. The ADMLC's purpose is the review and study of atmospheric dispersion modeling and related phenomena for application primarily in the authorization or licensing of air pollution emissions to the atmosphere from industrial, commercial or institutional sites.[1]

The ADMLC is primarily concerned with atmospheric pollutant discharges from regulated emission sites and other fixed sources. Their review and study interests include routine discharges as well as accidental releases or releases cause by operational upsets. Their interests also include modeling dispersion at all scales from on-site short range (including dispersion modelling indoors) to long range distances. The ADMLC does not normally get involved with pollutant emissions from roadway traffic or other non-point sources. Nor does it get involved with air pollution topics such as acid rain and ozone formation.


In 1977, a meeting of representatives from UK government departments, utilities and research organizations was held to discuss atmospheric dispersion calculation methods for radioactive releases. Those present agreed on the need for a review of recent developments in atmospheric dispersion modelling and formed an informal Steering Committee, which operated for a number of years. That Steering Committee subsequently became the UK Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling Liaison Committee in 1995.

Although the ADMLC was initially formed to consider primarily radioactive releases from the nuclear industry, it has expanded its range of interests and its membership to more fully reflect the needs of industrial and regulatory organizations.


As listed on the ADMLC's web site,[2] the membership of the ADMLC includes the following UK entities:

The Chairman and the Secretary of the ADMLC are provided by the National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB).

Areas of interest

ADMLC facilitates the exchange of ideas and highlights where there are gaps in knowledge. It tries to provide guidance to, and to endorse good practice in, the dispersion modelling community. The ADMLC has hosted workshops and welcomes ideas for joint meetings or joint workshops with other organizations.

The ADMLC members pay an annual subscription which is used to fund reviews on topics agreed on by the members, and to support in part its secretariat, provided by the Health Protection Agency. By the end of the 2006/07 financial year, the ADMLC had funded 25 review projects. Those projects are indicative of the areas in which the ADMLC is interested, and they include the following review project subjects:

  • Dispersion at low wind speed
  • Building effects on dispersion from sources near groups of :buildings, or in urban areas
  • Plume rise
  • Dispersion in coastal areas
  • The use of old meteorological data or data obtained at some distance from the release point
  • The possible use of data from numerical weather prediction programs
  • Uncertainty of dispersion model predictions as a result of deriving atmospheric stability indicators from meteorological data[3]
  • Review of the Royal Meteorological Society guidelines for atmospheric dispersion modelling
  • Calculation of air pollutant concentrations indoors
  • Dispersion following explosions
  • Review of atmospheric dispersion in complex terrain

Further reading

For those who would like to learn more about this topic, it is suggested that either one of the following books be read: