US nuclear industry ready to face Y2K

The US nuclear industry's internal computer systems have been prepared to cope with the millennium date change, according to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

The NRC says it has repaired or replaced 88 computer systems, tested them, and certified their readiness to operate beyond the Year 2000. This includes systems developed by the NRC or its contractors to support the agency’s operation as well as commercial hardware and software for minicomputers, microcomputers, and other agency applications such as security keycard access to NRC offices.

The NRC is one of the first of 24 primary Federal agencies whose progress is being tracked by the Office of Management and Budget to complete its Y2K work. The highest priority was given to the NRC’s seven mission-critical systems, each of which has been certified as Y2K-ready. These include the sealed-source and device nationwide registry, the general license database, the licensing tracking system, the NRC’s computer network, the emergency telecommunications system, the operations centre information management system, and the emergency response data system. Contingency plans have been verified for these systems in case of any failures, including but not limited to failures related to Y2K.

The NRC’s work on Year 2000 readiness, began in 1996 and cost about $10 million.

As an independent verification of the agency’s Y2K program effectiveness and accuracy, the NRC Office of Inspector General has conducted ongoing reviews and reported that the agency’s Y2K management program was thorough and effective.


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