Environment News Service

AmeriScan: March 23, 1999


The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will review Year 2000 computer program activities at all 103 operating nuclear power plants beginning April 1 to verify the status of licensee efforts to ensure the plants will be able to function safely on January 1, 2000, and beyond. The NRC will conduct special audits of Y2K contingency plans at six plants. Information from the reviews will be used in conjunction with status reports NRC has directed its power reactor licensees to provide by July 1. The reviews to be conducted between April 1 and July 31 will verify that all NRC licensees have implemented Y2K program activities; evaluate the progress they have made; and assess their contingency plans for addressing Y2K-related problems. Last fall, the NRC began audits at 12 nuclear power plants to evaluate the effectiveness of measures licensees are taking to identify and correct Y2K problems. Those audits, completed in January, did not reveal any problems that directly affect the proper functioning of safety systems in nuclear power plants. Those items requiring fixes at nuclear plants have typically been found in systems that support day-to-day plant operation such as data logs and personnel access controls but which are not necessary for the safe operation and shutdown of the plant. Inspectors conducting the Y2K reviews will receive special training. Their inspection procedures and Y2K review checklist will be posted on the NRC Internet web page at: http://www.nrc/gov/NRC/NEWS/year2000.html. The NRC also plans to post results of the reviews after they are complete.

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