NERC rpt: Y2K "optimist" worried : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Dick Mills, well-known power industry expert and Y2K "optimist" (he has claimed that with enough training, if we start now, we can do it manually), has reviewed the recent NERC report on Y2K and the power industry. Its at, and he thinks that its well publicized cautiously-optimistic conclusions are not justified by the facts. (At least thats what I get out of his article....)

-- Joe (, September 25, 1998



I read that too. Like Dick Mills, I have always taken this problem seriously, but have also been an optimist about it. It appears that we optimists are getting a bit more pessimistic! I get a sense from what he said that he has assumed that people were taking this problem seriously, as I have, but is now realizing that they are not. I hope his article does some good.

-- Buddy Y. (, September 25, 1998.

Those deck chairs look nice. Now help all these women and kids get into the boat, okay?


-- E. Coli (, September 25, 1998.

I believe I get it E.

Although, I don't think the Titanic analogy works. There's nowhere to go and there are no lifeboats. If it is TEOTWAWKI, there are no safe havens.

-- Buddy Y. (, September 25, 1998.

As well Mr. Mills should begin to worry. Let's see......he's the one who said that there was no problem in restarting a black grid, and a few other things, right?

Just come from, where two people were quizzing 'mickey,' who works for a large power company.

Those who want to check out the entire thread can do so by going to: 5376.918683716&hitnum=12

Basically, what Mickey has said is that 96% of the power generation facilities [East Coast???? Assumed yes, because this is an east coast company] need to be up and running in order to prevent blackout over the grid.

"Lee, I'm sorry to say that all the numbers we have worked out at SoCo indicate that, assuming the failures are at random points, anything less than 96% almost guarantees a grid failure. Now if we had the luxury of deciding which ones went down, we could arrive at a much lower number,but chaos is rarely that polite."

Let's try that again. Assuming a random distribution of failures, the shutdown of 4% of power generation plants would cause loss of the grid. This is a number that Department of Energy is supposed to have been given by Mickey's company according to a later post. _________

In response to the question, "Can we shut down all the Nukes, and restart them one at a time?"

"Average restart time to cycle up a nuke is about 21 days!!!"

>What about shutting >down the entire grid deliberately over > the rollover? Then bringing the plants back one at a >time? Is there any way > to restart?

Yes, but should this will not help if non-compliant plants shut themselves back down.

{This was the major flaw in Mills, "No problem restarting" concept.....things have to be fixed before the plants can be restarted.]

Finally, Mickey indicates that if the grid does go down it is likely to stay down for months, not hours or days or weeks. This is based on getting everything fixed, back up and synchronized

Now, if Mr. Mills (and I've quit reading his stuff) is turning pessimistic, we really must be in deep yogurt.

Just got a phone call that my China Diesel is ready to be shipped, Phew!!!!


-- rocky knolls (, September 25, 1998.

The Titanic was built by professionals.

The Ark was built by amateurs.

There are still plenty of amateurs left in this world.

-- John Howard (Greenville, NC) (, September 26, 1998.

Lets look at your analogy a little bit differently:

The Ark was designed and directed by The Ultimate Professional, and was opposed by amateurs (local experts in climatology.) As the story goes, it was only those who listened to the Expert, and who prepared ahead of time, who survived. Those who listened to the "experts" drowned.

Having established the need tolisten to the "correct" experts, not "locally appointed political liers", I would recommend listening to honest, trained "experts" in their own fields with respect to power and services.

No amateur can start up or operate a power plant, a sewage system, or a trans-state gas line from TX to NY. No amateur can get coal from WY to VA or FL in his station wagon. The world is too interconnected now to be operated by amateurs.

And it sure as h**l can't be operated by politicians or lawyers either. Engineers can't do it by themselves. Programmers can't do it either by themselves. It requires competent mechanics, service tech's, linesmens, operators, and journeymen wrench-turners and valve operators. They are guys and gals who the rest of us have to be sure have the programs and power to get systems back on line when the TSHTF.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, September 27, 1998.

A lot of people like to use the Titanic analogy for Y2K, but as evidenced above, it does break down pretty easily. Of course, most analogies do, especially when as in this case they are trying to portray an upcoming event, the likes of which there really is no analogy for (I mean, multiple simultaneous failures is pretty unique). Having said that, my personal favorite analogy would be Germany in the early days of Hitler's reign. Here was someone who wrote a book describing what he would do if he ever got in power. Individual jews, in those early years, had the opportunity to escape, but the vast majority did not. Why? They just could not believe that, in spite of what can only be described as very powerful evidence (Mein Kampf), that it would really be THAT bad. "They" surely would not allow such a thing to happen, etc. (And I must admit, there was some merit in that argument, incorrect as it turned out to be. After all, you can maybe persuade a lunatic to change his mind; bad computer code is unrelenting.)

-- Joe (, September 28, 1998.

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