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Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report

The Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report became public in January 2018. The story it tells is remarkably similar to the one we assumed, based on publicly available information in the aftermath of the accident. As risk advisers and managers we discuss below the various statements in the Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report. We aim at highlighting risk biases and potential management changes to avoid similar developments. Oroville Dam Spillway Incident Report Conclusions Commented The Independent Forensic Team Report made a number…

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Catastrophic dam failures path forward at Tailings and Mine Waste

The keynote lecture Catastrophic dam failures path forward at Tailings and Mine Waste Conference was an enlightening speech. Henry Brehaut corroborated the views Riskope have expressed over the last decade. The validity of our methodological developments is confirmed once again. We are pleased to comment and express some impressions from the keynote lecture. The message Henry Brehaut delivered includes looking at: getting things right, looking at details, identifying gaps and hidden flaws. Finally, reactive catastrophic failure analysis is not the optimum…

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UNEP Tailings Dams report and residual risk assessment

UNEP Tailings Dams report and residual risk assessment discusses the joint UNEP-GRID Arendal assessment entitled “Mine Tailings Storage: Safety Is No Accident” from a risk assessment point of view. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the report in October 2017 in Geneva. The report urges States and the industry to “end deadly and damaging mining waste spills by enforcing a zero-failure objective”. We believe that this objective requires some additional definitions and details. That is to make it truly…

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Developing a risk assessment for Asteroids Earth collision

Developing a risk assessment for Asteroids Earth collision is not about knowing when the next big impact of an asteroid on Earth will be. As a matter of fact it is to understand, for example, if: The recent decision (December 2016) by European ministers to decline funding part of the project to intercept a space-rock is reasonable. The aim would be to use the crash to deviate the trajectory. The idea above is reasonable when comparing, for example, other “space”…

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Vulnerable territories, well known hazards

Vulnerable territories, well known hazards are the ingredients of events such as Harvey and Irma. High density industrial operations, hazmat, toxic compounds storage facilities are obvious boosters to the magnitude and duration of resulting consequences. Vulnerable territories, well known hazards Vulnerable territories, well known hazards are due to a combination of: Malicious climate. Unforgiving flat topography. Houston is reportedly locally sinking by 2.2 inches per year due to pumping of oil, water and other factors. Facilities handling or storing hazardous…

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Risk related definitions to avoid risky confusions

Yes, we know, the title of this post: Risk related definitions to avoid risky confusions sounds a bit like a joke. However, we can assure that complying to these definitions  will save you and your company time, money, limit liabilities and reduce chances of litigation.   At the beginning of Summer we pointed out  there is still major confusion even in basic definitions of risk and uncertainties. Also that occurs not only within a single industry, but, even worse, across…

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Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry

This “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the mining industry” blogpost looks at what constitutes a minimal requirement for a Risk Assessment applied to a mining orphan site in 2013. That occurred as a result of Public Hearings in the NWT. It then examines recent development in the field, welcoming the apparently general request for multidimensional consequence analyses. A bit of reminiscing For the reclamation of Giant Mine the MVREIB, an Environmental Review Board in Arctic Canada quoted the…

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A risk advisor point of view on Blockchain

A risk advisor point of view on Blockchain is the result of recent readings in specialized news outlets. Some boldly stated “… and just hope you jumped on time on the bandwagon as such solutions will likely represent a deadly competitive threat to those who do not have them.” Why is that statement so bold and enthusiastic? The idea is indeed extremely enticing: imagine having solutions capable of replacing many of the most onerous processes in contracts and transactions. For…

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