Russell Mills PhD,Rebecca Freeman, Malcolm Barker
The global mining industry lives with the risk of catastrophic events such as water storage or tailings dam failures as part of its daily operations, and has developed a number of approaches to enable mine management to understand the nature of the risks and the ways in which they are being managed. One such approach involves the use of bowties for the understanding of the hazards and risks. Building from bowties, the second approach involves the selection and management of controls critical to the prevention or mitigation of the catastrophic event. The Australian mining industry is a world leader in this regard and the purpose of this paper is to illustrate how bowties are constructed, how risks can be semi-quantitatively estimated, how critical controls are selected and managed, and how, if all this is done well, risks can be demonstrated to be as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP).
This paper sets out key themes and presents an example for a tailings dam failure to illustrate the role of bowties and critical controls in management of catastrophic events. It will also highlight the role of bowties in the anticipated introduction of a Safety Case approach to dam risk management. Bowties provide a useful tool for the transfer of risk management knowledge from the designer, to allow dam owner / operators to better understand their risks and to recognise the link between design and operational controls and how they are used to manage those risks to ALARP.
Shane McGrath, Stuart Richardson, Mark Arnold
Melbourne Water Corporation has recently completed a complex safety upgrade of Greenvale, an extreme consequence category dam. An assessment concluded that the residual risks were As Low as Reasonably Practicable (ALARP). However, given the uncertainty associated with the calculations the estimated residual societal risk was not comfortably below the limit of tolerability. Melbourne Water has experience with preparing hazardous industry safety cases for its water treatment chemical storages and decided to trial the methodology for Greenvale Dam. This paper describes the approach taken in hazardous industries to construct safety cases and how his was adapted to demonstrate that dam safety risks are ALARP.
Robert Shelton, Jako Abrie, Matt Wansbone
The Mahinerangi dam – arguably the most valuable in Trustpower’s portfolio of 47 large dams – is over 80 years old and needs a plan of work to confirm it meets current design standards.
The dam was completed in 1931, subsequently raised in 1944-1946, and strengthened with steel tendon anchors in 1961.
A comprehensive safety review (CSR) in 2007 noted a potential deficiency in the fully grouted anchors and a program of work commenced to re-evaluate the overall stability of the dam.
A potential failure mode assessment revealed that the dam may need upgrading to meet the criteria for maximum design earthquake (MDE). Areas of uncertainty were identified and a significant programme of survey, geological mapping, concrete testing and site specific seismic assessments have been carried out to reduce risk and uncertainty in design.
The paper discusses the dam’s history, current condition, and describes the ongoing programme of work planned to extend the life of the dam for another 80+ years.
There is a significant body of knowledge in relation to assessing the impacts of earthquakes on earth and rock fill dams which has led to a number of widely recognised and accepted methodologies for the calculation of potential deformations from an earthquake event. However, limited research has been conducted into the assessment of blasting impacts on earth structures. This has led to an adoption of earthquake analysis methods in the assessment of blasting impacts on earth structures without adequate consideration to the difference between the stresses and displacements imposed on an embankment as a result of a blast as opposed to an earthquake. Adopting earthquake analysis techniques may result in conservative vibration limits being imposed when undertaking blasting near embankment dams which may have negative financial impacts.
This paper explores the risks associated with blasting adjacent to earth fill dams and details the difference between stresses and displacements imposed on an embankment by a blast versus an earthquake.
This paper also discusses previously adopted approaches to assessing potential impacts associated with blasting and the limitations associated with adopting a pseudo-static and simplified permanent deformation analysis for blasts modelled as equivalent earthquakes. Finally, the paper proposes an alternate risk based analysis approach.
Peter Foster, Bob Wark, David Ryan, John Richardson
Fairbairn Dam is a zoned embankment dam completed in 1972 and located in central Queensland near the town of Emerald. The spillway, which is located toward the left abutment, consists of a 168 metres wide concrete ogee crest, converging concrete chute and dissipater basin. The overall length from the ogee to the downstream end of the concrete spillway is approximately 195 m. The chute and dissipater basin are underlain by a matrix of longitudinal and transverse drains for pressure relief of the anchored concrete slabs.
Minor repairs to damaged chute slabs were undertaken following the 2011 flood event. During these rectification works, large voids up to 0.3 metre in depth were found under sections of the concrete chute slabs as well as damage and blockage to the sub-surface drainage system. Discoloured water was also observed discharging from sections of the sub-surface drainage system. Some of the 24 mm diameter bars designed to anchor the slabs to the foundation were found to have corroded at the concrete/foundation interface and subsequent pull-out tests showed that the anchors had minimal or no structural capacity.
These investigations led to a review of the hydraulic design of the spillway, upgrade to the sub-surface drainage system and apron slabs, and installation of replacement anchor bars. An understanding of the transmission of pressures and dynamic pressure coefficients resulting from spillway discharge and the effects of the hydraulic jump was an essential component of the design for the new anchor and drainage system.
This paper provides detail on the investigations undertaken, the hydraulic modelling that is underway including physical hydraulic and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the design approach for what is described in this paper as the Stage 1 component of works.
Amanda Ament, Thomas Ewing, Frank Nitzsche
The automatic operating buoyancy type spillway gates at Lenthall Dam did not operate properly since installation. This paper discusses the problems encountered, the investigation conducted using computational fluid dynamics to quantify the problems and develop solutions. It describes the design of the modifications to the gate and flow regime and results after construction.