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Soviet-era Nuclear Plants Pass 2000 Bug Test

KIEV, Jan 1, 2000 -- (Reuters) As the world entered another millennium on Saturday, Soviet-built nuclear reactors scattered across the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe appeared to be running safely despite earlier fears of 2000 computer bugs.

In Ukraine, the Chernobyl power plant, one of whose reactors exploded in 1986 in the world's worst civil nuclear disaster, said it had entered the New Year without problems.

"Everything is fine," shift manager Olexander Oleseyuk told Reuters by telephone from the station, 80 km (50 miles) from the capital Kiev. "The (one operational) reactor is working normally."

The Chernobyl catastrophe in April 1986, when one of the station's reactors exploded, contaminated vast areas in neighboring Russia and Belarus and spewed radioactive dust across Europe.

Valery Kazachkov, duty controller at the ex-Soviet state's nuclear energy company Energoatom, told Reuters all of Ukraine's five atomic power stations were running normally.

"There are no malfunctions," he said. "In general, the bug issue had been exaggerated from the very beginning." The story was the same across the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Despite pre-Y2K fears abroad, Russia appeared to have passed the millennium bug test.

Russian Atomic Energy Minister Yevgeny Adamov, via a video link-up with U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson, said Russian and other Soviet-era nuclear power plants and related defense sites were operating safely.

In the Caucasus republic of Armenia, the deputy director of Metzamor nuclear power station, Slavik Danielyan, told Reuters: "New Year has come and no problems have been detected at our station. We had not expected anything unusual."

In the Baltic state of Lithuania, the Ignalina nuclear power plant, which has the largest Chernobyl-type reactors still operating, also entered 2000 without troubles.

"The date passed normally. The work was not interrupted and there were no problems with the computers or the automated systems," said Ignalina General Director Viktor Shevaldin.

EAST EUROPE'S SOVIET-ERA REACTORS ALL RIGHT AS WELL All Eastern Europe's nuclear power plants equipped with Soviet-built reactors appeared to pass the millennium test.

In Slovakia, which has two nuclear power stations - Jalovske Bohunice and Mochovce - everything was under control.

"No problems were reported so far," said Dagmar Hlavata, head of the Economy Ministry's press department, when asked about the status of Slovakia's nuclear plants.

The situation was safe at the Paks plant, the only atomic station in next-door Hungary.

"Everything was all right after the date changeover," said Tibor Bocz, an engineer at the Paks station.

Petr Spilka, spokesman for the only operating Czech nuclear power plant at Dukovany, was similarly confident. "Everything went fine. We have made the switch without problems," he told Reuters.

The New Year was calm in the Balkan state of Bulgaria.

"All systems in Bulgaria's energy sector, including the nuclear power plant at Kozloduy which had been considered the most sensitive area in terms of the millennium bug, have experienced no problems," said Ivan Shilyanski, chairman of the State Energy Agency.


-- John Whitley (, January 02, 2000


Thanks John,

I think this is pretty funny. Even the Soviet Chernoybyl plant (minus one reactor, of course) got through the rollover with flying colors.

Threre is something really funny about that, must be my sense of humor. LOL.

-- bryce (, January 02, 2000.

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