NERC first quarter 1999 report findings

Overall progress: Considerable progress has been made, with remediation and testing rising on average from 44 per cent complete as of November 30, 1998, to 75 per cent complete as of March 31, 1999. The inventory phase is on average 99 per cent complete while the assessment phase is on average 95 per cent complete.

It is estimated that fewer than three per cent of items tested before remediation have any difficulty with date manipulations. Some facilities may not be Y2K ready by the June 30 deadline, and so NERC has initiated an exception reporting process.

Non-nuclear generation: Around 93 per cent of non-nuclear generating capacity in North America has reported to NERC on Y2K readiness. This sector is 96 per cent complete in the assessment phase and 75 per cent complete in remediation and testing. NERC expects further progress to have been made during the April and May outage periods. Over 100 units have been tested while operating on-line by moving components forward to critical dates, and no Y2K failure leading to a trip has been experienced by remediated units.

Nuclear generation: Nuclear facility Y2K programmes are being coordinated by the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) and included in NERC`s reports. All operational nuclear generation plants in the USA have reported to NEI, and as of March 31 1999, the assessment phase was 99 per cent complete. Remediation and validation is 71 per cent complete. No utility has found a Y2K problem that would have prevented safety systems from shutting down a plant.

Energy Management Systems: In the areas of Energy Management systems and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, NERC reports that most systems will be ready by June 30. Inventory and assessment are over 95 per cent complete, and remediation and testing is on average 77 per cent complete.

Substation controls and system protection: Of all the areas tracked by NERC, most progress has been shown in this area, with 84 per cent of remediation and testing reported as being complete. Most entities report finding no system protection devices that would cause power interruptions or safety concerns as a result of the Y2K rollover.

Distribution systems: With around 3000 distribution systems present in North America, NERC has obtained assistance from four electric industry associations to collect data. The first quarter results indicate that inventory is 98 per cent complete and assessment 96 per cent complete. Remediation and testing are 87 per cent complete.