Environmental Science Division (EVS)a Division of Argonne National Laboratory
Predictive environmental understanding

Flooding and Stormwater Analyses

EVS is evaluating the potential for flooding at power plants and federal facilities. (Photo source: U.S. NRC)

EVS researchers use hydrologic modeling to evaluate the potential for flooding at facilities such as nuclear power plants. The results of these efforts serve to improve the management of stormwater runoff and assess safety at these sites.

For the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), EVS conducted modeling analyses and field inspections to support flooding re-evaluations at several dozen power plant sites and hydrologic safety evaluations at new reactor sites. The models focused on local intense precipitation, stream and river flooding, dam failure, and coastal flooding mechanisms, and relied on current methods, data, and regulatory guidance.

EVS provides stormwater modeling analysis for the Army National Guard to support the maintenance of predevelopment hydrology during construction of new facilities (as required by Section 438 of the Environmental Independence and Security Act) and to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution (as required by Executive Order 13514). In a recent example, the work was documented in a stormwater management plan, which provided runoff modeling results, an assessment of stormwater detention capacity, and recommendations to the Guard for best management practices at the site.

Watershed delineation at a National Guard facility
Watershed delineation at a National Guard facility [Source: Argonne National Laboratory]
photo of John Quinn
Principal Hydrogeology Specialist
Capabilities: Conceptual and numerical modeling of groundwater systems, three-dimensional scientific visualization of subsurface data and modeling results, and contaminant transport modeling. Expert user of MODFLOW, MT3D, GMS. Ecosystem services (ES) of perennial bioenergy crops, especially in marginal lands. Geospatial tool development for delineation of marginal land, determination of ES, and economic valuation of ES. Phytoremediation system design, assessment of remediation systems and natural attenuation, decision-making for long-term monitoring. Geostatistics and uncertainty assessment, including use of statistical/geostatistical methods in probabilistic estimation of radiologically contaminated soil volumes, modeling of complex aquifer-aquitard relationships, and assessment of flow model uncertainty. Water resources investigations, wellhead protection zone delineation, stormwater and flooding analyses, GIS. Environmental impacts of the energy-water nexus, especially for nuclear power plants, utility-scale solar energy, NORM, oil shale, and tar sands. Proposal writing and project management, including staff selection, progress and financial reporting, and quality assurance. State-licensed professional engineer.