best news stories on NERC reportgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
This is what I posted last night at
Reading both of the whole stories (as opposed to just my excerpts) will of course help out.
Thumbs Up And Down On The NERC Report & Power Industry
(Chicago Tribune/Boston Globe)
Numerous stories were naturally published on the latest North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) report. Here are two of the better ones, looking at what was- and wasn't- in the report.
From the Chicago Tribune:
U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson, charged with making sure the grid is surging with electricity next Jan. 1, found some reassurance in the report. "NERC's finding that there are no `showstoppers' that would threaten the nation's electricity supplies is welcome news," Richardson said in a statement.
The Energy Department also took Monday's report as encouraging because it shows the problems don't run as deep as had been feared.
"We are finding the Y2K problem for the utilities is not as large as many had once believed," said Howard Gruenspecht of the Energy Department. "It's not that there is nothing out there, but there is nothing out there that we can't manage with good hard work..."
To some extent, though, the NERC report glosses over more serious problems being found in power plants.
For example, a Nuclear Regulatory Commission audit of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant in New Hampshire found 13 separate systems that could have failed and shut down the reactor on Jan. 1. None was related to safety systems and all have been addressed, the audit found.
And despite its optimism, the report might not do much to quell doubters.
"I fully expected their report to be optimistic," said Rick Cowles, author of "Electric Utilities and Y2K." "I analyzed the same data they did and came to a different conclusion: that they have made progress but still have a long way to go."
Cowles points out that 71 percent of the country's utilities will not meet the targeted date for testing all their equipment to make sure it is ready for 2000.
"I don't expect this thing to be a big bang--it is not going to be an East Coast or West Coast blackout, but I think there are going to be localized problems, regional issues that have to be dealt with," he said.
From the Boston Globe:
US Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson yesterday reiterated worries that some electric utilities are falling behind an industry timetable to fix the computer software problem known as the Y2K bug.
Citing the results of a survey released yesterday by a trade group, Richardson said he is generally pleased with the work power providers are doing to prevent blackouts come Jan. 1, 2000. The trade group, the North American Electric Reliability Council, issued a forecast that the date change would have a ''minimal impact'' on electric systems operations in North America.
But various utilities - including several in New England - expect to miss the industry's self-imposed June 30 deadline for fixing potential problems in their critical operating systems. Richardson called this ''a matter of significant concern,'' and added that ''in the Y2K readiness league, our goal must be to have a 1.000 batting average.''
Richardson threatened to cite specific firms unless they demonstrate progress. ''I applaud industry's intention to apply peer pressure to advance the programs of those who may be falling behind,'' Richardson said at a press conference in Washington. ''I am fully prepared to add my own voice to these efforts if necessary...''
''What we've seen to this point suggests that the rollover to the year 2000 will create only a minimal impact on electric system operations,'' said Michehl Gent, president of the trade group. ''Computer errors found thus far do not appear likely to threaten electricity supplies to customers...''
''But the bottom line is, are they going to make the deadlines? The bulk of their work is still ahead of them,'' Meyer said. He was also concerned, he said, by the report's note that 20 out of 66 nuclear-generation facilities in the country are expected to miss the remediation deadline. The report didn't specify those plants.
-- Drew Parkhill (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 13, 1999
In this open forum, I sent you an e-mail earlier today. For those that are reading this, it concerned your interview (discourse) with Rick Cowles. Terrific!
If you are busy and can't respond, I certainly understand.
Amazing. I got an answer from Bresnahan. It didn't answer too many questions about the National Guard COMEX\MOBEX situation, but was instead a caution that we should, basically, read the balance of his writings and form our own opinions.
Keep the faith!
-- Bob Walton (email@example.com), January 14, 1999.