NERC report released : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

-- volt (volt@amp.ohm), April 30, 1999


Key Result 1: Substantial Progress in Remediation and Testing  The owners of electric power production and delivery systems in North America made excellent progress during the first quarter 1999 in the arduous task of testing and, as needed, repairing or replacing mission-critical components that may be susceptible to Y2k. Remediation and Testing progress has jumped on average from 44% complete as of November 30, 1998 to 75% complete as of March 31, 1999. The electric power industry has made a strong commitment to meeting the NERC-established target date of June 30, 1999 and most facilities will be ready by that date. The industry is applying extensive resources and its best people to methodically address the Y2k issue. Key Result 2: Minimal Operational Impact Discovered  With more than 75% of mission-critical components tested through March 31, 1999, findings in the field continue to indicate that the transition through critical Y2k dates is expected to have minimal impact on electric system operations in North America. It is estimated that fewer than 3% of items tested before remediation have any difficulty at all with Y2k date manipulations. The types of devices that do experience trouble with Y2k date manipulations exhibit mostly nuisance errors, such as incorrect date displays and date-time stamps used for data logging and reporting. In most cases, Y2k does not affect primary device functions related to keeping generators and power delivery facilities in service and electricity supplied to customers. Key Result 3: Y2k is Real  Despite the good news that interruptions of electric service due to Y2k appear unlikely, Y2k issues are real and require completion of the ongoing comprehensive testing and remediation programs. In power generators, the types of devices that may exhibit date manipulation difficulties include Distributed Control Systems (mostly date display problems), computer controllers, data loggers, alarm systems, emissions monitoring, and precipitator controls. In power delivery systems (transmission and distribution) the types of devices that may exhibit date manipulation or display difficulties include EMS and SCADA 1 systems, protective relays (time stamp, notprimary protective functions), digital electric meters, event recorders, and substation controllers. In the area of telecommunications, issues may exist in routers, PBXs 2 , and fax machines (date stamp). Heating and ventilation systems, as well as physical security access systems may also be affected. The bottom line is that Y2k must and is being taken very seriously by the electric power industry. Key Result 4: Y2k Contingency Planning  Although the impacts of Y2k are expected to have minimal effects on the ability to reliably operate electric power systems, the industry is taking proactive steps, under its defense-in-depth strategy, to prepare for possible operating contingencies. NERC and its ten Regional Reliability Councils reviewed first drafts of Y2k operating plans in January 1999. The results from this review indicate that operating entities are taking the appropriate steps to evaluate Y2k operating risks and assure that contingency response plans are suitably adapted to Y2k conditions. Y2k operating plans, including contingency response strategies, are to be ready by June 30, 1999, and will continue to be refined through the remainder of the year. Key Result 5: Y2k Drill  On April 9, 1999, the electric power industry conducted a first-ever North American drill simulating the partial loss of voice and data communications. This drill involved several thousand personnel at more than two hundred electric power organizations using backup radios, satellite voice systems, and other backup systems to simulate safe and reliable operating practices with loss of primary communications. Although the drill is a successful milestone for the industry, there are lessons learned that will be addressed prior to future drills. Some of the lessons learned include the need to: expand the geographic coverage of radio systems, establish priorities to address heavy voice traffic on some systems, provide further training on satellite voice systems, and practice voice communication protocols. A second, more comprehensive NERC drill to prepare for operations under Y2k conditions is planned for September 89, 1999.

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See other thread NERC Report to DOE

-- regular (zzz@z.z), April 30, 1999.

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