Computer Modeling in Risk Assessment

There are many computer models available to aid you with assessing risk. The EPA has many available over the web for free, others you must pay for. The DoE had several on the RAIS web site you visited. All models have the GIGO limitation. GIGO stands for garbage in, garbage out. Beside that, which is always true, all models have their special limitations. Some limitations are obvious, others are not so obvious.

We will work the rest of the semester with the RISC model. It is very user-friendly and describes many processes quite well. The developers of the model refer to it as a "screening" model. That is, it gives approximate answers quickly, and that enables you to decide what further investigations are needed to firm up your conclusions.

For this week I want you to download the files and put them on your computer and "play" with the program. Please follow the instructions in the emails I sent you. Then you should find a little gas pump icon on your desktop. You can then start the program from icon or the Programs Folder on the Start Menu. The program is copyrighted, so please don't send it to people without getting approval. The program comes with a pdf manual that has a lot of good information. Besides helping with the program, we will use that manual for some supplemental text later in the course. Here is the RISC Manual. It is about 3.5 megs, you may want to save it.

In the past, some of the bells and whistles in the RISC program did not work, although most worked fine. Anyhow it is a great tool for our course. It may not be obvious, after you enter the data on each screen, you need to click the green arrow marked "continue" to enter the data and move to the next screen.

End of sub-module

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