ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

On-Demand Webinar: Tolerable Risk Guidelines for Dams: How Safe is Safe Enough

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Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2013

Tolerable risk guidelines are used to guide the process of evaluating whether or not dam safety risks are low enough. They provide a means of relating dam safety risks to other risks to which people are exposed as a result of technological hazards. While these guidelines should not be used as the only basis for dam safety decisions, they can play a useful role in making the case for a decision.

This webinar will provide both examples of practical applications of USACE and Reclamation tolerable risk guidelines and a summary of the principles that underlie the basis for tolerable risk guidelines. The examples will be for existing dams and for the evaluation of risk reduction alternatives. They will be based on almost 20 years of experience with applying tolerable risk guidelines in several countries in support of real-world dam safety decisions.

Variations in dam safety tolerable risk guidelines in several countries will be discussed. Implementation issues such as considering uncertainty in risk estimates and practical ways to build legal defensibility through considering if risks have been reduced as low as reasonably practicable will be discussed. In addition, examples of tolerable risk guidelines will be provided from other fields such as environmental protection, nuclear safety, transportation safety, and land-use planning.

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Speaker(s): David S. Bowles

Revision ID: 2227
Revision Date: 08/19/2022