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Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8745894, 11 pages
Research Article

Theoretical and Case Studies of Interval Nonprobabilistic Reliability for Tailing Dam Stability

School of Resources and Safety Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410083, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Longjun Dong

Received 31 May 2017; Revised 24 July 2017; Accepted 31 July 2017; Published 28 September 2017

Academic Editor: Qinghui Jiang

Copyright © 2017 Longjun Dong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The stability of the operation of a tailing dam is affected by reservoir water level, phreatic line, and mechanical parameters of tailings. The values of these factors are not a definite value in different situations. Meanwhile, the existence of the phreatic line makes it a more complex issue to analyze the stability of the tailing dam. Additionally, it is very hard to give a definite limit to the state of tailing dam from security to failure. To consider the uncertainty when calculating the stability of the tailing dams, interval values are used to indicate the physical and mechanical parameters of tailings. An interval nonprobabilistic reliability model of the tailing dam, which can be used when the data is scarce, is developed to evaluate the stability of the tailing dam. The interval nonprobabilistic reliability analysis model of tailing dam is established in two cases, including with and without considering phreatic line conditions. The proposed model was applied to analyze the stability of two tailing dams in China and the calculation results of the interval nonprobabilistic reliability are found to be in agreement with actual situations. Thus, the interval nonprobabilistic reliability is a beneficial complement to the traditional analysis method of random reliability.