You know what it is good for? Stories of unfathomable badassery, that's what.
These tests consist of simultaneously moving as many systems and components as possible forward or backward to various critical dates. These tests require an extraordinary level of preparation and coordination to ensure the safety of all systems and that the impact to the electric system would be minimal should a unit trip during the test.
Of all the integrated unit tests reported to date, not one test of a fully remediated unit has resulted in a Y2k failure that caused the unit to trip. In some cases, units that were moved forward to a post January 1, date have been left to continue running with clocks set ahead with no negative consequences.
Others report setting units back as a mitigation strategy. A typical setback is 28 years to more closely align the calendar dates. The NERC reports smash that myth.
In fact, the nuclear power industry is more tightly regulated than the rest of the electrical industry and began Y2K remediation a year before the rest of the industry. All of the nuclear generating facilities completed the initial inventory by May, and most were scheduled to have completed their assessments by the end December, Thus, Y2k problems in nuclear facilities do not represent a public health and safety issue.
However, a number of systems synchronize their central clock function to a signal provided by a Global Positioning Satellite, which would automatically correct time and date anomalies.
Many Internet sites express a concern that since electrical distribution is tied into a grid by computerized distribution, that a failure in part of the grid will bring down the entire electrical grid.
Although this is possible, it is not uncorrectable. Although much of an energy management and distribution system's functions are automated, operators continuously monitor power system conditions and have the ability to operate manually with perhaps some loss of economic efficiency by communicating verbally with personnel in power plants and substations.
In addition, utilities have the ability to cut off parts of the grid that are negatively impacting their own ability to supply power. There was also a question of power plants being unable to restart after a power outage. I came across an article that discusses the ability of power plants to "black start".
To do that, the plant needs what we call black-start capability. It has to be able to first generate a small amount of power to energize the motors and the controls in the plant to start the plant itself.
All nuclear plants and many fossil plants have diesel generators whose purpose is to supply the internal power needs in case of emergency.
During the summer, when everyone is running air conditioners, it is true that there is very little spare capacity. It is very fortunate that there will be an entire weekend to work out bugs and get power supply problems fixed before the business crunch of the workweek.
In conclusion, it seems reasonable that there will no electrical industry Y2K failures on or after January 1, From my perspective, I think it would be very improbable that entire electrical grids will fail. The spare electrical capacity should be sufficient to more than make up for any failures.
Y2K and the embedded chip problem The problem with embedded microchips is probably the most serious because of the difficulty in identifying and replacing the problem chips.
However, as noted above, and in other studies, the problem with embedded chips appears to be less than originally thought. Those that do fail will fail at the millennium, and the majority of these will only fail once. Early this year, Ann K. Coffou of the Giga Information Group, a consulting firm, was among the many experts who were warning that most businesses and government agencies were too far behind in making the needed fixes.
However, the finding that embedded chips are causing very few, if any, problems in nearly all systems tested has changed her mind.
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Chapter 2: Flat Files. The Flat Filing Cabinet contains an assorted mixture of over-sized items that do not fit easily into standard file folders, such as posters and artifacts of various kinds. A rational evaluation of the impact of Y2K on life in the United States.
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