Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment (PFHA) Research Workshop – 2020

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On February 19-21, 2020, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (NRC/RES) will host the 5th Annual NRC Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment (PFHA) Research Workshop at NRC headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. Staff and contractors from NRC, Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), federal agencies, industry, and other organizations involved in flood hazard assessment, flood risk assessment, and flood protection/mitigation research will provide information on recent results, current activities, and perspectives on future research directions. This three-day workshop is open to the public at no charge. Space may be limited, so advanced registration is required (a remote participation option via webinar is planned).

Conference Proceedings

Document Number Title Publish Date
RIL 2021–01 Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment Workshop 01/31/2021
RIL–2001 RIL-2001, Part 1, - Proceedings of NRC Annual Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment Research Workshops I-IV 02/03/2020
RIL-2001, Part 2, - Proceedings of NRC Annual Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment Research Workshops I-IV 02/03/2020
RIL-2001, Part 3, - Proceedings of NRC Annual Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment Research Workshops I-IV 02/03/2020
RIL-2001, Part 4, - Proceedings of NRC Annual Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment Research Workshops I-IV 02/03/2020

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09:00 – 09:10 Welcome & Logistics
  Session 1A: Introduction
Session Chair: Joseph Kanney, NRC/RES/DRA
09:00 – 09:10 Logistics 1A-0
Kenneth Hamburger, NRC/RES/DRA/FXHAB
09:10 – 09:20 Introduction 1A-1
Raymond Furstenau*, Director, NRC Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
09:20 – 09:35 NRC Flooding Research Program Overview 1A-2
Joseph Kanney, Meredith Carr*, Tom Aird, Elena Yegorova, Mark Fuhrmann and Jacob Philip, NRC/RES
09:35 – 09:50 Overview of recent activities at USACE-RMC 1A-3
Haden Smith*, Risk Management Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
09:50 – 10:05 IRSN External Flooding Research Program Overview 1A-4
Vincent Rebour*, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire (IRSN) Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety Institute
10:05 – 10:20 Nuclear Energy Agency: Committee on the Safety of Nuclear Installations (CSNI): Working Group on External Events (WGEV) Flooding Overview 1A-5
John Nakoski*, NRC/RES
10:20 – 10:40 BREAK
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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  Session 1B: Climate
Session Chair: Elena Yegorova, NRC/RES/DRA
10:40 – 11:10 Regional Climate Change Projections: Potential Impacts to Nuclear Facilities 1B-1
L. Ruby Leung* and Rajiv Prasad, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
11:10 – 11:35 Modeling of climate change induced flood risk in the Conasauga River Basin 1B-2
Tigstu T. Dullo, Tennessee Technical University (TTU), Sudershan Gangrade, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Md Bulbul Sharif, TTU, Mario Morales-Hernandez, ORNL, Alfred J. Kalyanapu, Sheikh K. Ghafoor, TTU, Shih-Chieh Kao* and Katherine J. Evans, ORNL
11:35 – 12:00 KEYNOTE - Causality and extreme event attribution. Or was my house flooded because of climate change? 1B-3
Michael F. Wehner^, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
12:00 – 12:25 Attribution of Flood Nonstationarity across the United States—Climate–Related Analyses 1B-4
Karen Ryberg*, Stacey A. Archfield, William H. Asquith, Nancy A. Barth, Katherine J. Chase, Jesse E. Dickinson, Robert W. Dudley, Angela E. Gregory, Tessa M. Harden, Glenn A. Hodgkins, David Holtschlag, Delbert Humberson, Christopher P. Konrad, Sara B. Levin, Daniel E. Restivo, Roy Sando, Steven K. Sando, Eric D. Swain, Anne C. Tillery, Benjamin C. York, Julie E. Kiang; U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
12:25 – 13:30 LUNCH
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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  Session 1C: Precipitation
Session Chair: Elena Yegorova, NRC/RES/DRA
13:30 – 14:00 KEYNOTE: Planned Improvements for NOAA Atlas 14 Process and Products 1C-1
Sanja Perica*, Hydrometeorological Design Studies Center, Office of Water Prediction, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA/NWS/OWP/HDSC), Sandra Pavlovic, Michael St. Laurent, Carl Trypaluk, Dale Unruh, NOAA/NWS/OWP/HDSC and University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
14:00 – 14:25 Application of Point Precipitation Frequency Estimates to Watersheds 1C-2
Shih-Chieh Kao*, Scott T. DeNeale, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
14:25 – 14:50 How well can Kilometer-Scale Models Capture Recent Intense Precipitation Events? 1C-3
Andreas F. Prein*, David Ahijevych, Jordan Powers, Ryan Sobash, Craig Schwartz, National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
14:50 – 15:05 BREAK
15:05 – 15:30 Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment of NPP Site considering Extreme Precipitation in Korea (Tentative due to emergent travel issue) 1C-4
Kun-Yeun Han*, Beom-Jin Kim, Kyungpook National University, Korea; Minkyu Kim, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Korea
15:30 – 15:55 Analysis of Heavy Multi-day Precipitation Events in CMIP6 Model Simulations in Support of the Fifth National Climate Assessment 1C-5
Kenneth Kunkel*, North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies, North Carolina State University and David Easterling, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
15:55 – 16:10 Daily Wrap-up
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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AGENDA: THURSDAY, February 20, 2020

08:55 – 09:10 Day 2 Welcome
  Session 2A: Riverine Flooding
Session Chairs: Meredith Carr and Mark Fuhrmann, NRC/RES/DRA
09:00 – 09:30 KEYNOTE: An Overview NOAA's National Water Model 2A-1
Brian Cosgrove*, NOAA/NWS/OWP, David Gochis, Research Applications Laboratory, NCAR, Thomas Graziano, Ed Clark, and Trey Flowers, NOAA/NWS/OWP
09:30 – 09:55 Moving Beyond Streamflow: Quantifying Flood Risk and Impacts through Detailed Physical Process and Geospatial Representation using the WRF-Hydro Modeling System 2A-2
David Gochis*, Aubrey Dugger Laura Read, NCAR
09:55 – 10:20 Extreme Flood Hazard Assessment – Overview of a probabilistic methodology and its implementation for a Swiss river system 2A-3
V.N. Dang, C.A. Whealton, Paul Scherrer Institute
10:20 – 10:45 Practical Approaches to Probabilistic Flood Estimates: an Australian perspective 2A-4
Rory Nathan*, University of Melbourne
10:45 – 11:05 BREAK
11:05 – 11:30 Columbia River Basin Regional Hydrology Studies: Regional Statistical Analyses for Flood Risk Assessment 2A-5
Angela M. Duren*, Northwest Division, USACE Portland
11:30 – 11:55 Reducing uncertainty in estimating rare flood events using paleoflood analyses: Insights from an investigation near Stillhouse Hollow Dam, TX 2A-6
Justin Pearce^, USACE, Risk Management Center; Brian Hall, USACE, Alessandro Parola, USACE Fort Worth; Brendan Comport, USACE Seattle; Christina Leonard, Utah State University
11:55 – 12:20 Improving Flood Frequency Analysis with a Multi-Millennial Record of Extreme Floods on the Tennessee River near Chattanooga, TN 2A-7
Tess Harden*, Jim O’Connor, USGS
12:20 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 13:55 Estimating Design Floods with Specified Annual Exceedance Probabilities Using the Bayesian Estimation and Fitting Software (RMC-BestFit) 2A-8
Haden Smith*, Risk Management Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE/RMC)
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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  Session 2B: Coastal Flooding
Session Chair: Joseph Kanney, NRC/RES
13:55 – 14:20 Coastal KEYNOTE: South Atlantic Coast Study: Coastal Hazards System 2B-1
Norberto C. Nadal-Caraballo*, Chris Massey, Victor M. Gonzalez, USACE Engineer R&D Center, Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory (USACE/ERDC/CHL), Kelly Legault, USACE Jacksonville District
14:20 – 14:45 Data, Models, Methods, and Uncertainty Quantification in Probabilistic Storm Surge Models 2B-2
Norberto C. Nadal-Caraballo*, Victor M. Gonzalez, Efrain Ramos-Santiago, Madison O. Campbell, USACE/ERDC/CHL
14:45 – 15:10 Using Physical Insights in Spatial Decomposition Approaches to Surge Hazard Assessment 2B-3
Jennifer Irish*, Virginia Tech, Donald T. Resio, University of North Florida, Michelle Bensi, University of Maryland, Taylor G. Asher, University of North Carolina, Yi Liu, Virginia Tech, Environmental Science Associates, Jun-Whan Lee, Virginia Tech
15:10 – 15:35 Investigation of Surrogate Modeling Application in Storm Surge Assessment 2B-4
Azin Al Kajbaf*, Michelle (Shelby) Bensi, University of Maryland
15:35 – 15:45 Daily Wrap-up 2B-4
15:45 – 17:00 Session 2C: Poster Session
Session Chair: Thomas Aird, NRC/RES/DRA
18:00 – 20:00 Group Dinner: TBD
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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AGENDA: FRIDAY, February 21, 2020

08:55 – 09:00 Day 3 Welcome
  Session 3A: Modeling Frameworks
Session Chair: Thomas Nicholson, NRC/RES/DRA
09:00 – 09:25 Structured Hazard Assessment Committee Process for Flooding (SHAC-F) for Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment (PFHA) 3A-1
Rajiv Prasad* and Phillip Meyer, PNNL; Kevin Coppersmith, Coppersmith Consulting, Norberto C. Nadal-Caraballo, Victor M. Gonzalez, USACE/ERDC/CHL
09:25 – 09:50 Using HEC-WAT to Conduct a PFHA on a Medium Watershed 3A-2
Will Lehman*, Brennan Beam, Matthew Fleming, and Leila Ostadrahimi, USACE, Institute for Water Resources, Hydrologic Engineering Center (IWR/HEC), Joseph Kanney, Meredith Carr, NRC
09:50 – 10:15 Paleoflood Analyses for Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessments—Approaches and Review Guidelines 3A-3
Tessa Harden*, Karen Ryberg*, Jim E. O’Connor, Jonathan M. Friedman, and Julie E. Kiang, USGS
10:15 – 10:40 Probabilistic Assessment of Flood Hazards Due to Combinations of Flooding Mechanisms: Study Progress and Next Steps 3A-4
Michelle (Shelby) Bensi* and Somayeh Mohammadi, University of Maryland, Shih-Chieh Kao and Scott DeNeale, ORNL
10:40 – 10:55 BREAK
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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Session 3B: External Flooding Operating Experience
Session Chair: Thomas Aird, NRC/RES/DRA

10:55 – 11:20 Risk and Operational Insights of the St. Lucie Flooding Event 3B-1
John David Hanna*, NRC Region III, Chicago, IL
11:20 – 11:45 Reflections on Fort Calhoun Flooding Yellow Finding and 2011 Flooding Event Response 3B-2
Gerond George*, NRC Region IV, Arlington, TX
11:45 – 12:10 2019 Cooper and Fort Calhoun Flooding Event Response 3B-3
Patricia Vossmar* and Mike Stafford*, NRC Region IV, Arlington, TX
12:10 – 12:25 Panel Discussion 3B-4
12:25 – 13:30 LUNCH
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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Session 3C: Overview of NRC PFHA Pilot Studies
Session Chair: TBD

13:30 – 13:40 Local Intense Precipitation Flooding PFHA Pilot 3C-1
Joseph Kanney*, NRC/RES, Rajiv Prasad, PNNL
13:40 – 13:50 Riverine Flooding PFHA Pilot 3C-2
Meredith Carr*, NRC/RES, William Lehman, USACE/HEC
14:50 – 14:00 Coastal Flooding PFHA Pilot 3C-3
Joseph Kanney*, NRC/RES, Norberto Nadal-Caraballo and Victor Gonzalez, USACE/ERDC/CHL
14:00 – 14:10 Panel Discussion 3C-4
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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Session 3D: Towards External Flooding PRA
Session Chair: Mehdi Reisi-Fard, NRC/NRR/DRA

14:10 – 14:35 EPRI External Flooding PRA Activities 3D-1
Marko Randelovic*, Electric Power Research Institute
14:35 – 15:05 KEYNOTE: Computational Methods for External Flooding PRA 3D-2
Curtis L. Smith*, Idaho National Laboratory
15:05 – 15:30 External Flooding PSA in IRSN – developments and insights 3D-3
Maud Kervalla*, Gabriel Georgescu, Claire-Marie Duluc Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (France)
15:30 – 16:00 Final Wrap-up Discussion
* denotes presenter, ^ denotes remote presenter

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Speaker Instructions

Speaker Instructions:

  1. We can only run presentations from our equipment, so presentations must be sent ahead of time. We cannot use your laptop.
  2. We recommend you make a print copy of your power-point notes if you need them, as the laptop you will be using may only be able to be in presentation mode, where you will not be able to see those notes.
  3. If you are embedding videos or using sound:
    • Please inform your POC right away.
    • Provide a copy of the video in addition to the one that is embedded in your presentation ahead of the workshop. Having a local, linked copy will increase the likelihood of success in running it. However, be prepared in case the video or sound cannot be played.
  4. If you are planning to switch to the internet and demonstrate something from a website, please prepare a back-up as we cannot guarantee connection or speed of connection. You will likely only have slide advance and step back control of your presentation.
  5. It will get more difficult to update presentations as we near the Workshop, so you have changes, please contact your POC to arrange for an update of our system.

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Poster Session

This year we are opening the poster session to confirmed registrants. The Poster Session is general, but focused on Probabilistic Flood Hazard Assessment and risk-informed and performance-based approached to external flood hazard assessment. Topics may include innovative research or case studies in, e.g. climate, extreme precipitation, watershed, river and coastal flooding research and case studies in a probabilistic or statistical framework, probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) and decision-making for external flooding or related external hazards, site mitigation and protection measures, guidance, methods, tools, model and software development, and external flooding operational experience in critical infrastructure. Existing posters can be used and there is no specific size standard.

To be considered for the poster session, please send a title, authors and affiliations and a brief description (<150 words) to the poster session coordinator, by February 10th. The committee will briefly review your description for consistency with the conference focus and let you know promptly if your poster is accepted. Poster titles, authors and descriptions will be included in the agenda, the website, and in the proceedings.

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Webinar Information

Remote participation via webinar is available by registering.

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Hotel and Area Attractions Information

The NRC does not endorse any one particular property, rather, offers information on a number of hotels within a 10-mile radius of Headquarters. Nearby hotels include but are not limited to the following:

Note: Taxi service is available in Bethesda and Rockville, and all hotels are driving distance to the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center.

The Washington, DC, metropolitan area provides culture, heritage, nationally acclaimed theaters, musical concerts, festivals, world-renowned shopping, inspiring monuments, and museums throughout the city. The list of activities and attractions is constantly changing, thanks to an active cultural community and special exhibits spanning the arts, history, and science. Not only are the city's sightseeing options vast in number, nearly all of them offer free admission. Please visit the Official Tourism Site of Washington, DC for detailed information. Visit for information on places to go and things to do in North Bethesda. Visit for information on places to go and things to do in Rockville.

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Contact Information

If you have questions or need further information regarding the workshop, please contact the following:

NRC Contacts:

Joe Kanney
Phone: (301) 415-1920

Meredith Carr
Phone: (301) 415-6322

Elena Yegorova
Phone: (301) 415-2440

Mark Fuhrmann
Phone: (301) 415-0879

Thomas Aird
Phone: (301) 415-2442

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, April 28, 2022