No environmental impacts from millennium bug

Industries report business as usual as Y2K computer problems fail to materialise

The "millennium bug," which it was feared could potentially hit infrastructure and industry operations due to computers misreading the 1999 to 2000 date change has failed to appear. No environmental problems have been reported in key industry sectors, either in Europe or around the world.

As emergency coordinators began to relax after a continuous monitoring operation right over the New Year period, the European Commission reported on Tuesday a "glitch-free rollover" to "Y2K". No problems had been reported in Europe's energy or transport sectors, the Commission said. Countries such as China and Indonesia, where upsets were feared more likely, had also reported making the transition without a hitch.

European national environmental agencies involved in Y2K readiness operations have also reported no disruption or environmental problems. There were contingency plans, especially for chemical and nuclear plants, but "nothing happened," a spokesperson for the Dutch environment ministry told ENDS Daily.

Likewise, key European industry sector organisations are reporting no millennium related computer problems and a complete absence of any environmental impacts. Chemical firms agreed an informal global reporting system in the run-up to New Year's Eve, but a spokesperson for European chemical industry association Cefic said today that nothing had been heard from anywhere in the world.

There were "no Y2K bug problems" in European nuclear plants, the atomic industry association Foratom reported on Monday. The group said that a total of 16 computer-related glitches had been reported worldwide but "none of the hitches was of any significance" and "there was no impact on normal operations or safety".

Likewise, Europe's oil industry association Europia told ENDS Daily today that it had seen no reports of any Y2K-related disruption or environmental problems in its sector. The only incident known of, according to Bill Thompson of Europia, was a press report that customers at a motor filling station in Scotland were forced to fill in cheques by hand when an automated cheque printer stopped working.

Follow Up:
European Commission Y2K web site.

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