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Is data indigestion a risk?

In a world that used to be data-starved, is data indigestion a risk? Data starvation It is rare that we review a project where the monitoring system really works. Instruments fail, are destroyed by neighboring construction, by contractors and animals. Winter conditions, soft soils and tailings or other factors forbid access, timely replacement or maintenance. And then, piezometer do not measure the levels they should because of some geotechnical oddity or construction problem, inclinometers are too short, etc. In some…

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Limit of credibility in risk assessments

Many users invoke Limit of credibility in risk assessments but rarely discuss what this means. It is possible to establish limits on the credibility of probabilities estimates based upon the limits of human capabilities and the limits of historical evidence? Limit of credibility in risk assessments, what do we really mean? Let’s start with a couple statements that may sound like a joke. …and there was light The Big Bang universe creation occurred 1010 years ago, meaning the “history of…

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Probabilities inconsistencies in a Risk Management Framework

Can you detect Probabilities inconsistencies in a Risk Management Framework ? While performing a Risk Management Functions Audit we were asked to review the following Probability-Annual frequency categories. Cat Probability Annual Frequency 5 >95% More than once per year 4 50 to 94% At least once every other yr 3 20 to 49% Once every 2 to 5 years 2 5 to 19% Every 5 to 20 years 1 <5% Less than once every 20 yrs The values of the…

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Riskope’s new book Tailings Dam Management for the Twenty-First Century

Riskope’s new book Tailings Dam Management for the Twenty-First Century is in print. This book is based on over thirty years of world-wide consulting experience, relentless methodological research and development, prior books, courses, seminars delivered to corporate key stakeholders, public and governmental agencies, public hearings, expert witnessing in civil and criminal courts, and over fifty technical papers. Its purpose is to identify and describe risk assessment approaches and risk management practices mining must implement to develop a positive path forward. That is…

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Talking about return rate is a disservice to the public

Talking about return rate is a disservice to the public even if flood experts usually use the term when communicating to the public. Background of Bell Falls Hydro Dam The officials stated that: “… The dam was designed for a maximum one-thousand-year flood of 960 cubic metres per second.” We will look at relatively rare events. For the sake of this discussion, let’s consider events with a probability of less than 1/10 per year. At 1/10 talking about probability to…

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Evacuating Grenville-sur-la-Rouge is a good decision but maybe not the right one

Evacuating Grenville-sur-la-Rouge is a good decision but maybe not the right one. Indeed, when performing Risk Informed Decision Making (RIDM) a distinction must be made between right decisions and good decisions. A bit of background of on Bell Falls Hydro Dam Reportedly, the officials stated that: “we’re running about 940 cubic metres per second, and they predict it could go up as much as 1300 cubic metres per second. The dam was designed for a maximum one-thousand-year flood of 960…

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A decade of physical risks generated by industrial systems hacking

A decade of physical risks generated by industrial systems hacking is featuring a remarkable and worrisome acceleration. Indeed, it all started, as far as we know, with the crippling Stuxnex worm attack on the Iranian uranium refining centrifuges. As the title clearly indicates, we will not discuss here the devastating attacks on administrative systems, data repositories, but focus on industrial systems. What is going on Successful hacking on industrial systems seemed to remain “isolated exploits” for a long time. For…

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Innovation in Dams Screening Level Risk Assessment

For some reasons Innovation in Dams Screening Level Risk Assessment feels like an oxymoron. At each new accident organization like MAC produce a new edition of their manuals, for example Developing an Operation, Maintenance, and Surveillance Manual for Tailings and Water Management. The new editions generally represent a strengthening of some rules, but the result is always very similar to the prior edition, does not address systemic failure to properly evaluate risks of old and new facilities. Let’s tackle fundamental…

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