Israel - Jerusalem Electric Corp - dangerous power dip at midnight 1/1/00 : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Sunday, January 2 2000 13:39

The Jerusalem Post, Israel

Public services report Y2K bug-free weekend

By David Rudge

HAIFA (January 2) - Power and water supplies stayed on line and on tap over the millennium weekend, allaying fears of Y2K bug-related disruptions.

The Israel Electric Corporation and Mekorot both had additional emergency crews and supervisory staff on duty in case of breakdowns, but they were left with little to do.

Nevertheless, there was more than a modicum of tension in the situation rooms of the two government companies as the minute hand on the clock moved towards Friday midnight and the beginning of the 21st century.

The tension diminished as the minutes passed into hours without any signs of major disturbances and staff who had toiled over the past few years and particularly months and weeks were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

"We are now in the year 2000 without any problems as a result of all the efforts made by IEC employees," said IEC director-general Rafi Peled.

Despite the accolades there was one moment of unexpected worry caused by a dramatic drop in demand precisely at midnight, apparently the result of lights and other appliances being switched off throughout the country - perhaps to allow revellers to kiss under the more romantic cover of darkness.

IEC supervisors recorded a 40-megawatt drop in demand, which momentarily placed the whole system in danger of collapse. An unexpected drop in demand is as dangerous to the network as an unexpected surge, and IEC staff started to look at ways of curbing output in order to redress the balance, until power demand returned to normal.

Peled noted that there had not been such a sudden decrease in demand since the Gulf War, although in this case it was only temporary.

Mekorot, on the other hand, experienced no inconsistencies in demand, although the water company had prepared for just such a contingency.

Spokeswoman Merav Azulai noted that Mekorot had stopped pumping water from wells, primarily in the central region, and had instead increased supplies from the National Water Carrier over the weekend. These and other steps were taken as safety precautions in the event of power cuts that would stop pumping operations from underground reservoirs.


-- Lee Maloney (, February 18, 2000

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