Washington Post article on sewage spill also brings up Peach Bottom incident - is mainstream press finall awakening?

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Scanning today's articles on the sewage spill shows a lot of mainstream coverage, but I was amazed that the Washington Post actually made the connection to last February's Y2K test glitch at the Peach Bottom nuclear facility that caused all the monitors to freeze up, nearly causing the plant to shut down.


This is amazing! A mainstream press article actually making the connection between a current Y2K happening and a previous, similar, happening. Normally, mainstream articles just report whatever happens to be current, never comparing nor drawing conclusions.

The Post article also points out how important that testing is to catch such problems. It does not ask the next logical question: Is there enough time left to test everything like this?

Slowly but surely, there is an awakening. Once it matures, nobody will be able to prepare -- we are on a sinking ship with not enough lifeboats. I strongly suggest that you get your own personal preparations in order, pronto.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), June 18, 1999


Thanks Jack, one straight line is a beginning. there won't be enough pencils in the world to draw all the lines that will become obvious in the near future.


-- Ray (ray@totacc.com), June 18, 1999.

We need some new polls..... oh, I know, they're useless - but notice that they're prolifically published when consumer apprehension regarding Y2K is on the way down.

Something else interesting to ponder: what's Declan been up to lately?

-- Lisa (lisa@work.now), June 18, 1999.


Just this morning, a friend of mine e-mailed me an article written by Declan as proof that "most computer people aren't worried about Y2K, so why should I be?" I sent back a few counter articles (like Webster's survey) with the comment that there are conflicting reports out there... so be careful not to take any single source as gospel truth.

-- M.C. Hicks (mhicks@greenwich.com), June 18, 1999.

"most computer people aren't worried about Y2K"

Computer problems! Look around you think we just have computer problems?

-- BiGG (supersite@acronet.net), June 18, 1999.

BiGG.... I know, I know... he's in major league denial. Just goes to show, "you can't teach an old dog new math"... or something like that!

-- M.C. Hicks (mhicks@greenwich.com), June 18, 1999.


The sewage spill actually made the SoCal paper this morning. Of course it was buried way inside on page 15 and was given a scant three short paragraphs. The article concluded with a statement by a LA Sanitation Department spokesman: "We don't know why the computer did not open the gate. This could be a coincidence and not related to Y2K testing". This is a graphic example of the state of denial we are in regarding all things Y2K.

The extremists on both sides of the issue have made it difficult to find the 'middle ground' and to admit that a problem like this spill could have serious ramifications seems verboten. IMHO, the inability to look at Y2K problems rationally will be be our downfall.

-- Iben (lurking@work.sum), June 18, 1999.

"We don't know why the computer did not open the gate. This could be a coincidence and not related to Y2K testing". This is a graphic example of the state of denial we are in regarding all things Y2K.

Sorry, this statement is a responsible one, not a state of denial. At the time the statement was made they may not have known the cause, only the event. Things break all the time and breaking during a Y2k test may or may not be due to Y2k causes. It needs to be checked out. Hopefully they will publicly say what they find whether it be a Y2k issue or not.

-- Dave Hunter (dhunter@revenue.state.il.us), June 18, 1999.

Look on this thread for a very interesting and detailed article from the LA Times, new information:

Y2K Test Fails - 4 million gallons of sewage escapes

xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (allaha@earthlink.net), June 18, 1999.


Your response to the 'denial' example I made is well taken. My statement was based on the premise that this was a highly planned and controlled system test of Y2K readiness. I find it difficult to believe that the reasons for this malfunction would not be known at once. What part of this highly monitored system test could remain a mystery for even a short period of time? This was not a random failure that needed to be dissected from square one and this sewage plant is not to be confused with the complexity of a space station. What I'm suggesting is that these officals would be in jeopardy to publicly associate such a failure with a Y2K related glitch. I will be watching the paper for the final word....Not!

-- Iben (lurking@work.sum), June 18, 1999.

Ashton and Leska, and Jack Sprat: Thank you for these links. I will be taking these articles to our community planning meeting next Thursday. In response to above post about "responsible statements." I agree that it is possible other events could cause problems during y2K testing, making thinks like elevators failing and sewage spilling not STRICTLY related to Y2K. However, to use a judicial analogy, I think Preponderance of the Evidence is the more appropriate standard to apply to the decision to make plans to protect and provide for your family then Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. IE if sewage spills, power fails, gas spills, etc... occur during Y2K testing, the fact that a theoretical sparrow might have flown into an outtake valve or whatever at exactly the millisecond that the date was advanced, does not equal a preponderance of evidence that Y2K was NOT to blame and we can just go back to sleep. Glad we are on the look-out for facts, but hang on to your common sense, intuition and skepticism for a government with an agenda of its own. Thanks again, newswatchers.

-- (y2kfallback@yahoo.com), June 18, 1999.

Thanks, Jack.

These kinds of "tests" with unexpected results simply underline the need for communities, businesses and individuals to contingency plan appropriately.

It also provided a real-world example of the "oops factor."

How many simultaneous oopsies will it take in a given location before "outside intervention" will be activated by Clinton's new "Y2K war room" folks?



Clinton's new Y2K Co-ordination office: ICC

http://www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id= 000xlS

-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), June 18, 1999.

Reading the Washington Post article, it wasn't a Y2K test, but a loss of power test. The only connection to Y2K is apparently the motive for running the loss of power test at this particular time.

-- cd (artful@dodger.com), June 18, 1999.

"The problem began when technicians at the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys conducted a drill to see how the facility's computers and other electronic systems would respond to a Y2K-related power failure. An emergency generator kicked in as planned, but a computer failed to open an "effluent gate" that controls the flow of sewage into the plant, said Cora Jackson Fossett, spokeswoman for the city's Public Works Department."

One must then conclude, CD artful dodger, that the plant has suffered no outages in the past - otherwise, the same results would be expected, no?

Or put another way, the plant is designed to cease functioning with loss of power.

Sounds like back-pedalling to me.

-- lisa (lisa@work.now), June 18, 1999.

"...it wasn't a Y2K test, but a loss of power test." ---cd

"An emergency generator kicked in as planned..." Cora Jackson Fossett

Looks like the "loss of power test" was a stunning success!

-- RUOK (RUOK@yesiam.com), June 18, 1999.

You can dissect any failure and come up with all kinds of ingenious conclusions. If someone shoots me and I die, any reasonable person would conclude that I died of being shot. But, on reading responses on this and the other threads regarding the spill, I am sure that many would say "No, it was due to loss of blood, just coincidence"; "No, it was due to an exploding brain, mere happenstance"; "His time was up, does it really matter?"...

Regardless, thanks to everyone who responded. (Hmmm, maybe I should check my septic tank. Probably wouldn't hurt to have it pumped out, just to be safe....)

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), June 18, 1999.

Since this event occurred, I've been thinking about the potential problems had the sewage flow not been stopped promptly...and what this might portend if it happened during a chaotic y2k transition. For example, could large numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes? Where would they go? Who would pay for their lodging, food, medicine, etc.? What about their pets and other animals? What about looters? How long before they could return to their homes? How would they ever get those homes cleaned up? Lots to think about.....

-- Norm Harrold (nharrold@tymewyse.com), June 18, 1999.

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