Tennessee - Malfunction at Nuclear Plant

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (AP) - The Y2K bug infested a computer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Y-12 nuclear weapons plant but it did not affect operations or workers, Energy Department officials said Sunday.

The exact nature of the malfunction was not disclosed because the computer controls a classified function. It was corrected in about three hours, said Department of Energy spokesman Frank Juan.

Juan said it is the first of the plant's 280 systems to experience a Y2K problem. Officials will continue to monitor all systems at the plant next week, Juan said.

The Y-12 plant makes warhead components for the MX missile system and is the primary uranium storage site for the nation's nuclear arsenal.

-- Nell Levin (nellrose@earthlink.net), January 02, 2000


UPDATE to: "Tennessee - Malfunction at Nuclear Plant"

Jan 4, 2000 - 02:14 AM

Nuclear Weapons Plant Has Brief Y2K Glitch The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal officials say a Y2K-related computer malfunction at the Oak Ridge nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee caused no operational problems and was corrected within hours. John Gilligan, the DOE's top computer expert, said Monday the problem involved a computer that tracks nuclear material as to its weight and type. He said the actual accounting of material was not affected.

Officials at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory initially declined to provide details of the malfunction, first reported Sunday, because it involved classified activities.

Gilligan said the Oak Ridge incident was the only Y2K problem affecting "mission critical" systems at Energy Department facilities nationwide during the New Year's rollover, although there were "about a dozen" minor glitches.

All of the failures "tended to be minor and easily fixed," he told reporters. He said there are about 200,000 computer systems at DOE facilities, including the three weapons labs. The Oak Ridge facility has 260 systems.

The Y-12 plant at Oak Ridge makes warhead components for the MX missile system and is the primary uranium storage site for the nation's nuclear arsenal.

Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said Monday the $5 billion spent on Y2K in the energy sector was well worth it and will pay dividends that will reduce the likelihood of future power outages or oil disruptions.

He said the Energy Department spent about $235 million on Y2K including computer fixes at its nuclear weapons facilities and research labs.

AP-ES-01-04-00 0205EST ) Copyright 2000 Associated Press

-- Dona Clement (dkainc@aol.com), January 04, 2000.

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