WASHINGTON—The North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) today presented its second quarter 1999 report "Preparing the Electric Power Systems of North America for Transition to the Year 2000" to Energy Secretary Bill Richardson. The following is a statement from Joe F. Colvin, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s president and chief executive officer, on the nuclear energy industry’s Year 2000 computer readiness program.
"The nuclear energy industry is well positioned to continue generating electricity as safely and reliably on and beyond New Year’s Day as it does today. The industry embarked on its Y2K readiness program more than two years ago and, thanks to that early start, is on the verge of achieving complete Year 2000 readiness at the nuclear power plants that provide one-fifth of the nation’s electricity.
"We have determined that nuclear power plant safety functions will not be affected by Y2K issues, and independent analysis by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has confirmed our readiness. Moreover, because of the broad scope of plant readiness efforts, we are resolving the last remaining items that would in any way affect general plant operations and site support systems. Many of these outstanding items are scheduled for remediation during the reactor refuelings that routinely are scheduled in the fall so the electricity so direly needed during heat waves like the one we’ve been experiencing will be available.
"In the weeks and months ahead, the industry will continue to review and refine contingency plans and participate in drills that will add still another layer of preparation. Our goal is to achieve operations-as-usual at each and every nuclear power plant at and beyond midnight, December 31."
The Nuclear Energy Institute is the nuclear energy industry’s policy organization. This news release and additional information about nuclear energy are available on NEI’s Internet site at http://www.nei.org.