2013 – Case study of risk assessment for dam safety management decision-making in Korea

Jeong Yeul, Lim

For various historical reasons and some technical reasons, the safety of dams has been evaluated using an engineering standards-based approach, which was developed over many years. It was used initially for the design of new dams, but increasingly has been applied over the past few decades to assess the safety of existing dams. Some countries have carried out risk assessments of existing dams that included both the structural and hydraulic safety of the dam and social risk. These methods developed by other countries could be adapted to assist in decision-making for dam safety management. Unfortunately, methods for risk assessment of dams were not established in Korea. This study outlines a beginning risk analysis for structural safety management. The first stage consisted of research on the present domestic dam safety guidelines and reviewing operations for management systems of dam safety abroad. Also, dam risk analysis requires reliable data on dam failure, past construction history and management records of existing dams. A suitable risk analysis method of dams for structural safety management in Korea is use of event tree, fault tree and conditioning indexes methods. A pilot risk assessment was carried out for two dams. The dam risk assessment process was thus established, and we learned the importance of risk assessment. The future includes additional research and risk analysis to develop the system.

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