Press updates on Nukes, March 9greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
USA Today: Lawmakers seek Y2K nuke stand-down
"WASHINGTON (AP) - The Year 2000 computer crisis gives the United States and other nuclear powers a rare chance to get together and take their nuclear weapons off alert, a lawmaker said Monday."
[snip] "Experts at the symposium concurred with Pentagon assessments that, even in Russia, which is well behind the United States in correcting Y2K problems, it is highly unlikely that computer glitches will result in spontaneous missile launches or explosions in missile silos.
But Bruce Blair of the Brookings Institution said the Russian early-warning system, backed by thousands of missiles on hair-trigger alert, is especially susceptible to the computer bug. That, coupled with breakdowns in the cooling systems of 72 or 73 deactivated Russian submarines, Blair said, raises "the possibility of multiple Chernobyls."
Peach Bottom Nuclear plant test update from Philadelphia Inquirer
[snip] ""It wasn't as if everything in the control room shut down," Wood said. The problem affected "two computer monitors in the midst of hundreds of gauges and other instrumentation," he added.
Sheehan said the NRC considered the crash a result of human error, not a Y2K problem. "Even though it was Y2K-testing-related, it wasn't Y2K-related," he said.
He said the NRC planned no disciplinary action against Peco. "It appears they were doing what they are supposed to be doing. . . . We would rather have them doing this testing now as opposed to later this year."
Peco said the test that went awry on Feb. 8 was completed successfully yesterday. A test at Peach Bottom's Unit 3 reactor is scheduled for tomorrow.
Rick Cowles, a utility-industry consultant, said that although the crash would not have impeded a safe shutdown of the plant, losing the plant monitoring computer would slow down the plant's and the NRC's ability to respond to problems.
He said the Peach Bottom incident should be a wake-up call to the nuclear power industry, which he says has been "smug" about addressing Y2K.
Nuclear plants have until July 1 to give the NRC a detailed description of what Y2K-related work remains to be done and when they will do it. Wood said Peco's report will state that two systems at Peach Bottom's Unit 3 will not be fully Y2K compliant until fall because they must be worked on during a plant shutdown."
-- Chris (email@example.com), March 09, 1999
Good thing I'm not a programmer in charge of those nukes eh ;-) Pesky tags!
-- Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999.
I respect Cowles, but must disagree with him there - in talking with the "users" and operators at the power plants (and the industry in general) I've found they are anything but complacent about the problem.
Their test setups and process analysis far exceeds anything else in any other industry - this confidence might come across the wrong way, but it appears based on technically verifiable analysis - not on smug administrator-level statements.
Most appear more concerned about the grid stability - it's an old problem I've seen many, many times elsewhere in other businesses too: "I'm confident of my progress and my company, but the other guy worries me...." I think their concerns about "the other guy" contribute to my general pessimism about the length, duration, and "width" of the degree of troubles that appear to be coming.
Nukes - on the other hand, are at the top of the food chain - they rely on nobody behind them to generate power, to get fuel, or to dispose of wastes.
(In the short term - 6-9 months - they are probably the only completely independent industrial process in this planet - short of a dirt-farmer with a wife, a handful of seed and a mule. (I'm exaggereating - food - at the power plant - would still be needed.)
Only a ship could be considered equally independent. but it is tied to shore for fuel and food, if out longer than a few days. and I know of no ship or cruise company that has declared y2K compliancy, nor any a long ways into remediation.
-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (email@example.com), March 09, 1999.
1) Robert, Hydro might challenge for self sufficiency
2) Did I see unilateral stand down up there anywhere?? I can't think of a better way to commit national suicide. Upon rereading, no I didn't, but how do you verify that both of you are standing down???
Somehow, I think not.
-- Chuck, night driver (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 09, 1999.