Selected Presentations, Quotes, and Comments from
      The George Washington University Conference on Y2K 

      "Y2K: Local, National, Global Concerns ~ 
      What Further Actions Are Needed?" 

       July 26 to July 30, 1999

Table Of Contents
3. Statement by Mr. Herbert M'cleod
United Nations Program (UNDP)
Plenary Panel on Y2K
George Washington University Y2K Conference
4. Summary of the Panel Discussion:
"Y2K, Nuclear Power Plant Safety and the
Electric Power Grid"
Comments prepared by Patrice Kaufman
5. An Exchange Between Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Paula Gordon,
July 28th Panel on "Y2K and Emergency Preparedness",
George Washington University Conference on Y2K July 26 - 30, 1999
6. Comments by Professor Stuart Umpleby on the
July Conference on Y2K at GW
 7. Copies of the Conference Videos Can Now Be  Purchased



       My gut instinct is that..all of the top-level government and industry leaders are simply
       unable to provide the kind of leadership and inspirational rhetoric of, say, a Winston
       Churchill rallying his nation to face the acknowledged life-and-death threat of an imminent
        invasion by Germany. Who knows -- perhaps even Churchill would have had a
       difficult time if the threat had been "internal" rather than "external."
        It's very difficult to acknowledge that the threat you're facing is your own damn fault,
        and that it can't be blamed on an evil enemy; perhaps the most clever political
       approach to all of this would have been to blame Y2K on Saddam Hussein, and to call
        upon every man, woman, and child in the country to seek out all of those evil Y2K bugs
       and crush them...The reality, unfortunately, was best summarized by Pogo: "We have met
        the enemy, and they is us."

       One of the scariest things about this is the possibility that official government reaction to Y2K
        will resemble the reaction to the 1929 stock market crash. Not only did all of  the top leaders
        adamantly deny that such a thing could happen BEFORE the crash, but they continued to say the
       same thing for at least a year AFTER the crash. Lots of  politicians continued making speeches
        well into 1930 that  essentially blamed consumers and the public for maintaining such a bad
        attitude about the consequences of the crash. The gist of the message was: stop whining and
       complaing, be happy, and increase your level of  confidence; if we're all feeling confident,
        then everything will be okay. Meanwhile, Washington did little or nothing to rectify the
        situation throughout 1930, 1931, and 1932.

        FDR obviously took strong measures once he was sworn into office in early 1933,
        but that was approx 3.5 years after the "trigger event" of Black Tuesday in October...
        It's bad enough that the lack of leadership prior to Jan 1,2000 is going to make the
        consequences far worse than they had to be; but if we continue to see dithering and
       dawdling and blame-casting during the immediate aftermath, it could turn a "5" into a "9"
        on the Y2K    Richter scale.




       I am sorry that I am not able to join you this week: the conference sounds
       unusually interesting - and it could just make a difference.

       When I first got involved with this extraordinary and bizarre subject,
       largely inspired by my friend Peter de Jager, I was optimistic about the
       outcome. That was back in mid-1996. It seemed to me then that the threat
       was so obvious that all we had to do was communicate what was going on to
       the most senior people in the economy - in Government and business - and
       get it to the top of their agendas and the rest would follow. They would
       ensure it was fixed. That's how things get done in our society.

       Of course, the process of communication was not going to be easy: even at
       the end of the twentieth century, a surprisingly high proportion of senior
       people are technology averse. And, at first sight, the threat seemed so
       unlikely. That didn't really worry
       me - I, a lawyer with no technical background, had been running high-tech
       businesses for 25 years, had not heard of the problem before and was
       initially sceptical. But it didn't take much to persuade me.

       We started well. With tiny resources we got close to 100% awareness in
       months. To use that dreadful phrase, we were "on track" for a successful
       outcome. I was even arrogant and probably foolish enough to think that
       Britain could derive enormous relative benefit from all this - to get it
       right when others were failing could not be all bad.

       But the initial momentum was dissipated and my early optimism has gone.
       Unlike Peter, who seems to have gone from foreboding to qualified optimism,
       I am pessimistic.

       What went wrong? And what can be salvaged from this mess? Both huge questions.

       The essential answer to the first is that we simply failed to get the issue
       to the top of those agendas. And, critically, it's not there even now - not
       here in the UK nor, I suggest, anywhere in the world. What matters now is to
       do whatever is possible to avoid the worst outcome.

       Some observers say that it is plainly too late: the world's infrastructure
       is a web of interconnected systems that no one really understands - we are
       facing an inevitable systemic failure. Others say No, history shows that,
       however severe the difficulty, humans are good at dealing with emergencies
       - they will, by improvisation and good sense, rise above this one. I have
       sympathy with both. But the trouble with the former is that it accepts
       disaster. I refuse to do that. Yet the trouble with the latter is that the
       emergency is here now and I cannot see enough of the improvisation and good
       sense that are required.

       That has to change. And, in particular, the governments of the developed
       world have to publicly recognise that we are facing an emergency. If this
       conference can somehow work a miracle and trigger that change, it will have
       been immensely valuable.

       I doubt if it will happen - but I cannot accept that it is wholly impossible.

       I wish you well.

       Robin Guenier - Executive Director, Taskforce 2000
       July 1999

       Robin Guenier - a profile

       Director, Guenier Ltd.
       Executive Director, Taskforce 2000
       Associate, Technology Consulting Ltd.

       Guenier is a businessman, writer and speaker. After twenty years as chief
       executive of various high-tech businesses, he founded his business
       consultancy in early 1995. He became concerned about the century
       date-change issue in 1996 during an assignment as Chief Executive of the
       British Government's Central Computing and Telecommunications Agency and
       was asked by the Minister for Science and Technology to set up Taskforce
       2000 - a non-profit business. It is now fully independent - and has become
       a key focus for date-change expertise and opinion.

       Guenier has made hundreds of speeches and has written many articles about
       the subject. He is a regular contributor to TV and radio programmes. In
       1998, he was voted "IT Personality of the Year" by the readers of Britain's
       leading computer journal, Computer Weekly. He maintains a wide network of
       international contacts.

       He can be contacted at: Taskforce 2000, 90 Fetter Lane, London
       EC4A 1JP
       tel: +44 (0) 7071 83 2000
       +44 (0) 870 240 0301
       (PA: Karen Moore) fax: +44 (0) 870 240 0302
       +44 (0) 1582 832827 (direct)


        Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen,


        I am very pleased to represent the United Nations Development Programme
        at this gathering and to join such a distinguished panel. Let me first
        thank the George Washington University for organizing this conference
        and Professor Paula Gordon for inviting me to this panel discussion on a
        topic, which is as vital for those living in advanced and
        technologically sophisticated countries, as for the rest of the world in
        less priviledged circumstances.

        I will confine my presentation to a description of UNDP's mission and
        the modest role we are playing in addressing Y2K issues in partner
        programme countries. In addition, I will share with you our perception
        of what further steps are needed to prevent and/or mitigate any crisis
        situation in those countries and offer some suggestions on what we could
        do together to avert global and national crises.

        Context/Definition of Y2K:

        After 3 days of discussion, I am sure that there is now a common
        understanding of the problem and need not spend time redefining it.

        In any case the three circle illustration, so eloquently articulated by
        Professor Gordon in her working white paper, sums up the problem pretty
        well for us to continue our discourse.

        Indeed the Y2K is a complex, inter-related problem. While IT/CT is at
        the core of the problem, understanding the magnitude of the implications
        of date-sensitive computer-chip embedded systems provides us with some
        kind of a picture of what we face. The fact is that modern life as we
        know it in the developed and developing world is almost totally
        dependent on these embedded systems. At the same time, the
        ever-increasing inter-linkages if not interdependence among all
        countries, borne out of globalization make all countries vulnerable in
        varying degrees to the otherwise simple technology problem of Y2K.

        Put differently, globalization of the world economies have progressed so
        rapidly that disruptions in one region create repercussions upon others
        and isolation is now virtually impossible, and undesirable.

        Hence, the Y2K problem will have global, national, as well as local
        impacts on economic stability, social order, political systems, and even
        the physical environment. In other words it will touch every aspect of
        human lives.

        The nature of the problem is also not time bound as it is likely to
        roll-over and linger well beyond year 2000, if measures are not taken
        sufficiently ahead of the actual occurrence of the event.

        Today, as we continue to discuss the issue, we are but only 155 days
        away from ushering the "new-millenium" and experiencing, in real life,
        the "millenium-bug" - the other name for Y2K. However, we will begin
        to experience it even before 31 December as some people will start the
        mass panic to take preventive but narrowly focused measures. Time
        therefore, is very short and the task ahead is gigantic.

        What is UNDP doing?

        UNDP's mission is to provide technical grant assistance to developing
        countries around the world (The current number of countries, which
        receive UNDP assistance is 134). The goal is to help build their
        national capacities in governance for:

        · Promoting human development

        · Reducing poverty

        · Maintaining sustainable environment

        · Ensuring gender, social and economic equality

        · Promoting human rights

        · Interventions in crises countries and promoting post-conflict

        We do all these in partnership with recipient and donor countries as
        well as other donor organizations, like the World Bank, Regional
        Development Banks and other UN Agencies.

        In the five regions in which we operate we have taken the following
        action programmes as a contribution to address the Y2K problem.

        In Africa, we are assisting a regional programme called National
        Planning for Africa for the Year 2000. The aim of the project is to
        have majority of African countries prepare their respective national
        plans to ensure the provision of basic services, in case of Y2K related
        disruptions and failures. More specifically, this project is helping

        · Raise awareness of the key decision-makers to the potential
        consequences of Y2K and the need for Y2K national plans.

        · Build capacity of Y2K national coordinators to design and implement
        national plans of action to mitigate the effects of Y2K.

        · Prioritize national sectors, such as energy, and communications, to
        help countries focus on specific remedial measures that must be applied
        quickly and in a strategic manner to have the most effective and
        beneficial impact in the shortest possible time; and

        · Increase cooperation among UNDP, World Bank, and ITU, in coordinating
        and supporting Africa's Y2K national planning and implementation

        In Latin America and the Caribbean, UNDP has helped set up a

        a.) Foro Y2K America del Sur: comprising 10 countries: Argentina,
        Brazil, Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Paraguay, Ecuador,
        Chile) to help:

        1. Develop a Web site for the Foro

        2. Organize the first meeting of experts in Energy in Buenos Aires.

        3. Organize the first conference of the Foro in Lima, Peru

        4. Develop the second meeting of the "Group de Energía" in Washington

        5. Develop the second Conferencia del Foro 2000 for South America.

        6. Develop an Auditing Y2K Workshop in Santiago, Chile (26-27 May)

        7. Support National Coordinators in reference to technical and
        managerial matters

        8. Hold weekly telephone conferences with all countries in South America

        9. Coordinate with the sectoral global organizations such as IATA,
        Global 2000, International Telecommunications Union.

        10. Support the coordination of the International Y2K Cooperation
        Center with South America

        11. Manage and implement the Y2K related development agendas.

        12. Present the work done by Group of Energy of the Foro at the United

        UNDP has also set up another forum called:

        b.) Foro Y2K Mexico & America Central:

        The type of support that UNDP provides to Central America and Mexico
        consists in the funding of key regional meetings. Some Caribbean
        countries also participate in these regional meetings.

        In Asia and the Pacific region, UNDP is assisting requesting
        governments with advisory services for risk assessment and contingency

        In the Arab States region, UNDP is committed to provide advisory
        services relating to Y2K matters to requesting governments in the

        In Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, UNDP has helped
        to set up a Y2K cooperation center in Sofia, Bulgaria to address Y2K
        related issues for the region.

        In close collaboration with the United Nations Secretariat, we have just
        completed a survey of the Y2K related risk situation in our programme
        countries. Although this exercise was primarily meant for United
        Nations internal office planning purposes, its results would be useful
        by mapping the degree of risk for each critical sector in each of the
        134 countries. This will add to the information available and upon
        which further work and actions can be envisaged. A simple example is
        that such an exercise would help in focusing donor support to high risk

        Ladies and Gentlemen, we recognize that this is not enough. Unfortunately our meager resources do
        not allow us to go much farther.

        What We Must Do Together?

        What therefore must we all do together?

        As we all know, time is limited; knowledge on the issue is confined
        largely to the developed countries, with the United States leading the
        rest; and resources are insufficient. It is therefore, imperative
        that, national and local governments, business and private sectors,
        civil societies, international organizations and NGOs must join together
        and make a combined and determined effort towards addressing the issue.


        From all the discussions here, it is evident that only a combined and
        coordinated effort at the global, national and local level will minimize
        the negative consequences of Y2K. The recommendations should therefore,
        be seen, in this context.

        First, urge all national governments, to reinforce appropriate Y2K
        national Task Forces, through resources, authority and knowledge. Where none exists, to create such
        groups as a matter of urgency.

        Second, a rigorous Awareness Creation Campaign must be launched at
        national and local levels. The thrust of such campaigns ought to be to
        educate responsible authorities and the major stakeholders on the
        inter-connectivity of the Y2K problem, its likely impacts, and measures
        that must be taken to address the problem.

        Third, a serious effort must be made by all national governments to
        prepare national contingency plans and inventories of all priority areas
        of concern for preventing and minimizing Y2K related events that would
        pose the greatest of risks to humankind. A long list is given in the
        white paper and includes nuclear weapons systems, biological and
        chemical laboratories, nuclear power plants, electric power grid among

        Fourth, every national government must lead the initiative to test those
        high priority and high risk areas and prepare appropriate action plans
        for Y2K eventualities in those areas.

        Fifth, mobilize all government resources, civil society, action groups
        to launch vigorous drives to address the issue.

        Sixth, to encourage governments to allocate appropriate financial
        resources, national contributions could be matched by donor funds to
        address Y2K related issues such as those mentioned in the white paper.

        Seventh, use the internet facilities to launch a global
        awareness-creation, and preparedness campaign.

        Eighth, emerge from this conference with a comprehensive proposal,
        which should be shared across the globe with national governments,
        private sector, civil societies and international organizations for
        taking appropriate measures.

        Ninth, explore with the World Bank and other major donors, the
        possibility of preparing a practical hand book, which could be used by
        national governments and others concerned as practical guidelines to
        respond to possible Y2K related eventualities.

        Ladies and Gentlemen, the UNDP with its network of offices in almost
        all of the developing world, and its experience in dealing with
        countries in crises is prepared to make available this network for any
        coherent and coordinated action this meeting will recommend. One
        possibility that comes to mind is the identification of a minimum list
        of critical functions per country and an assessment of the cost of
        maintaining these. With goodwill to mobilize resources we should be
        able to quickly provide the support necessary.

        Post Event Recovery:

        Some experts are of the opinion that the Y2K is a rolling problem and
        that system malfunctions caused by it will have to be dealt with well
        beyond year 2000. Depending on the magnitude of disruptions and
        malfunctions, serious effort would need to be taken to restore/replace
        the affected computer based systems to bring back normalcy to the
        society-based services. For this, governments/private businesses and
        other affected parties will require access to expert groups, consulting
        firms and computer industry to help them rectify the problems. They may
        also need substantial funding from donors to implement practical
        remedial measures and solutions. UNDP, World Bank, United Nations,
        United Nations Agencies and other major donors have significant roles to
        play in this and should prepare for such post event activities.


        In closing, I would like to say that as we look to the future in the new
        "millenium," we must take lessons from the past. History tells us of
        innumerable sufferings and miseries of humankind from natural
        catastrophes and man -made conflicts. But human genius, patience and
        endurance have always withstood challenges and turned them into
        opportunities. After every challenge humankind emerged more resilient
        and advanced to even higher standards of living. Once again, as we are
        at the threshold of the new millenium, we are faced with a new
        challenge, the likes of which we have not experienced before. Let us
        pick up the gauntlet. I am confident that our combined and determined
        effort to address this challenge, and the opportunities offered through
        global cooperation will move us to even greater heights.

        Thank you.

        NOTE: The UNDP's INFO21 Site for IT-Related Issues

        INFO21 serves as UNDP's knowledge broker site for IT-related issues. It is
        designed as a one-stop shop for telecentre users and UNDP's development
        partners. Through structured hyperlinks, the site offers access to a
        plethora of sustainable human development-relevant content material,
        curricula and best practices as well as to topical issues such as electronic
        commerce, the Y2K problem, internet governance and human rights and the


                     Comments prepared by Patrice Kaufman

                        August 4, 1999

        Recently, I attended a 5-day Y2K conference at George Washington University in Washington, DC,
        organized by Dr. Paula Gordon, Director of Special
        Projects of the University's Research Program for Social and Organizational
        Learning. The conference included an evening session sponsored by the
        Washington Post, on the topic of Nuclear Power and Y2K.

        This session on Nuclear Power was eye-opening and alarming. The presenters included a
        representative from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Nuclear Energy Institute (which is the
        trade association for the nuclear industry), and representatives from nuclear "watchdog" agencies.

        The industry reps painted a picture of near-100% compliance at the nation's nuclear reactor plants.
        Jose Calvo, Branch Chief, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Electrical & Instrumentation Controls
        Branch and Jim Davis, Director of Operations at the Nuclear Energy Institute discussed the July 7
        NRC announcement on the Y2K status of the nuclear industry. This announcement reported that all of
        the emergency systems at all of the 103 operational nuclear plants in the U.S. were Y2K ready, but
        that some of the support systems at 35 plants were not yet Y2K ready.

        Mr. Calvo and Mr. Davis assured the audience that the industry is well on track to meet the Y2K
        challenge. They stated that items yet to be remediated at the 35 plants were minor. Mr. Davis reported
        that since the original status announcement was made on July 7, six of the 35 plants had completed
        their additional work, leaving only 29 plants with remediation work to accomplish.

        Following this, representatives from the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Nuclear Information
        and Resource Service delivered their more cautious reports. These reports questioned the reliability of
        industry assurances that nuclear power plants pose no threat to public health and safety during the
        Y2K rollover.

        Paul Gunter, Director of the NIRS Reactor Watchdog Project, began by discussing the gravest
        problem Y2K poses to nuclear plants, the potential loss of electrical power. As a December 1998
        report prepared by NIRS explains, "A little-known reality of nuclear power is that atomic reactors
        need a steady source of electricity to cool their cores and irradiated fuel pools even when they are shut
        down. Without this cooling ability, even closed reactors would melt down; fuel pools would boil dry
        and release their highly-radioactive inventories."

        It is well known that one of the chief risks of Y2K is to the continuous, stable operation of the
        electrical power grid. As the February 24, 1999 Senate Y2K Committee Report stated, "local and
        regional [power] outages remain a distinct possibility." The potential for a prolonged nationwide
        blackout, while considered to be unlikely, also cannot be ruled out. Mr. Gunter spoke about the
        ramifications of electrical power loss to nuclear plants. The following comments are taken from his
        prepared text:

        "In the event of a grid failure and loss of offsite power, nuclear power stations attached to disrupted
        grid systems will automatically scram with the rapid insertion of control rods. The reactors cease
        producing of electricity. Nuclear power stations are neither designed nor capable of 'black start' or the
        ability to operate independent of available offsite Alternating Current (AC) electricity.

        "Once scrammed, a nuclear power station must address the tremendous amount of heat generated by
        the atomic reaction within the fuel core. With the loss of offsite power a substantial number of systems
        normally used to cool the reactor are also lost and unavailable."

        Because the nuclear reactor fuel will melt with catastrophic results in the event of a power failure and
        subsequent loss of cooling capability, nuclear power plants are required to have backup power
        sources. These are normally giant diesel generators, as Mr. Gunter explained:

        "Emergency power must be generated onsite to maintain reactor core stability through the removal of
        this 'residual heat' via a system of circulating coolant pumps and motor operated components.
        Additional safety-related monitoring and control systems require electrical power stored and generated
        on-site. Emergency Diesel Generators are designed to provide back-up electrical power and charge
        onsite auxiliary batteries necessary for the duration of any grid instability or failure."

        The gravest danger inherent at nuclear power plants is the simultaneous failure of both the electrical
        power grid and the onsite Emergency Diesel Generators (EDG). According to Mr. Gunter, this
        condition, known as "station blackout," is regarded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission as the
        largest postulated contributor to reactor accidents resulting in fuel damage. He explained,

        "A station blackout of long duration (in excess of 2 hours) leads to auxiliary battery depletion for AC
        conversion and subsequent loss of vital instrumentation and control features. The uncovering of the
        reactor core and its associated hazards can occur within a range of 3 to 10 hours beyond the time of
        battery depletion without restoration of AC power...with the combination of grid failure, battery failure
        and EDG failure 'core damage begins in approximately one hour as the result of coolant boiloff' or
        uncovering the core for some reactors. Core damage can be expected to proceed to a core melt if
        effective and timely measures to restore AC power and core cooling are not taken or available..."

        Mr. Gunter continued, "NRC studies consider a long duration blackout event in excess of two hours to
        be a dominant factor influencing the likelihood of core damage or a core-melt accident. Long-term or
        recurring grid failure as a result of Y2K vulnerabilities has not been sufficiently studied."

        What is the probability that a nuclear power plant's Emergency Diesel Generators would fail to
        operate if needed in the event of a Y2K-induced electrical power loss? The most sobering information
        released during the July 28 panel regarded the unreliability of these backup power systems.

        Mr. Gunter reported that ongoing evaluations of Emergency Diesel Generator reliability at our nation's
        nuclear power plants reveal cause for great concern; at best, the NCR says that they are 95% reliable.
        Mr. Gunter stated that "multiple events [of EDG unreliability] occur each month," and cited six recent
        events of EDG failure at various plants. He concluded his report by saying, "NIRS expects to see
        continued problems with EDG design, hardware failures, operation and maintenance errors and
        failures related to support systems to occur up to and beyond the Y2K susceptible dates."

        In light of this situation, last December NIRS petitioned the NRC to require nuclear power plants to
        install additional backup power onsite. To date, Mr. Gunter reported, the NRC has not responded to
        the NIRS petition.

        David Lochbaum of the Union of Concerned Scientists also spoke at the July 28 panel. Prior to joining
        UCS in 1996, Mr. Lochbaum worked as a nuclear engineer in the U.S. commercial nuclear power
        industry for over 17 years. His presentation addressed the process used by the NRC to determine
        "Y2K-readiness" of the nation's nuclear power plants. In a July 7 article entitled "Y2K and Nuclear
        Safety," Mr. Lochbaum stated that this process, consisting of NRC-conducted audit tours and surveys
        completed by nuclear plant operators, was unreliable and insufficient:

        "NRC inspectors conducted audits of Y2K preparations at nuclear power plants...The inspectors have
        been told what to examine, but they have not been provided acceptance criteria. Therefore, these
        audits--which are more precisely termed sightseeing tours--cannot determine if the nuclear plants meet
        minimum safety standards."

        In his July 7 article, Mr. Lochbaum explained that some nuclear plant owners are reporting to the
        NRC that their systems are Y2K compliant when they may not be:

        "NRC inspectors went to the Brunswick nuclear plant in North Carolina and learned that the plant's
        owner relied exclusively on certifications by companies supplying its hardware and software.
        Brunswick did no testing when it had a piece of paper saying that a computer system was Y2K
        compliant. The NRC inspectors then traveled to the Salem nuclear plant in New Jersey. At Salem, the
        plant owner tested some of the hardware and software that had been certified to be Y2K compliant.
        Some of the certified systems flunked the tests."

        In this same article, he also questioned the NRC's lack of compliance standards:

        "The NRC knows that some nuclear plant owners are relying heavily on paperwork instead of testing.
        The NRC has documentation that this paperwork cannot always be trusted. The NRC is not unhappy
        about this situation. Why? Because in the NRC's eyes, no nuclear plant can be below Y2K minimum
        standards because there are no standards defined. Everyone passes an NRC test because there is no
        answer key."

        The General Accounting Office has also chastised the NRC for lack of compliance standards. In a
        January 1999 report entitled "Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Nuclear Regulatory
        Commission," the GAO said, "NRC's regulations and other guidance do not define, for either a
        licensee or the public, the conditions necessary for a plant's safety; therefore, determining a plant's
        safety is subjective."

        Another issue of concern addressed by Mr. Lochbaum was NRC press release No. 99-153, issued
        July 22, 1999, entitled "NRC Issues Interim Enforcement Policy on Y2K." In this press release, the
        NRC announced their approval of an interim enforcement policy allowing the use of "enforcement
        discretion" under certain circumstances for nuclear power plants during Y2K transition periods. In his
        prepared statement for the July 28 panel, Mr. Lochbaum explained the meaning of this interim policy:

        "The NRC is preparing to allow nuclear plants with broken emergency equipment to continue
        operating. Remember that just last month the NRC announced that the emergency equipment at every
        nuclear power plant in the United States is Y2K ready. That's what they say. Actions speak louder
        than words. The NRC has taken steps to allow plant owners to continue operating plants with
        emergency equipment disabled by Y2K by simply picking up the phone and calling a friendly NRC
        agent for special dispensation."

        As Mr. Lochbaum told the audience, Technical Specifications, or Tech Specs, define minimum
        standards that must be met for plants to operate. For example, when a piece of emergency equipment
        is found to be broken, the Tech Specs might require it to be fixed within 72 hours. If it is not fixed in
        time, the plant must be immediately shut down.

        He said, "For Y2K, the NRC wants to set aside the Tech Specs and allow plants with broken
        emergency equipment to continue operating...the NRC will be gambling with the lives of millions of
        Americans. The catastrophic accident at Chernobyl was caused when plant workers deliberately
        disabled emergency equipment before a test. The test went badly and the plant literally
        exploded--twice--because its emergency equipment was disabled. The core meltdown at Three Mile
        Island was caused when plant workers intentionally turned off emergency equipment. The NRC now
        appears willing to allow plants to operate with emergency equipment disabled by Y2K. The NRS
        apparently assumes that the emergency equipment will not be needed. If it is..."

        Mr. Lochbaum's final analysis is that the NRC is acting "irresponsibly." It's hard to come to any other
        conclusion but this, given the above information.

        Many Y2K analysts and observers are deeply concerned about the possibility of potentially
        catastrophic Y2K-induced nuclear events. Dr. Paula Gordon, the organizer of the above mentioned
        Y2K conference, has written a widely read White Paper covering these concerns [A Call to Action:
        National and Global Implications of the Year 2000 and Embedded Systems Crisis,].

        I believe we have to be very cautious about self-generated reports of compliance coming from within
        the various industry sectors. The July 28 discussion panel reconfirmed my conviction that behind these
        assurances of Y2K readiness lie stacks of conflicting data, arguing against a smooth transition to the
        Year 2000.

        Unfortunately, the vast majority of the American public are receiving only the soothing industry
        assessments. Given the information obtained at panels such as this, the current widespread levels of
        complacency and unconcern about the Year 2000 problem would be difficult to maintain.

5. An Exchange Between Congressman Dennis Kucinich and Paula Gordon,
              July 28th Panel on "Y2K and Emergency Preparedness",
              George Washington University Conference on Y2K July 26 - 30, 1999

PAULA GORDON: I brought up in the last panel.... the hypothesis that
         perhaps the reason the President and the Administration have not moved
         forward on (Y2K) before (now is that they have made) a conscious decision
         (not to do so). (They may have decided that) it is possible that increasing
         the awareness of the public concerning this issue could be very disruptive
         with respect to the economy for instance, and perhaps a conscious decision
         has been made not to risk that kind of upset. (Perhaps they have) instead
         (decided to) wait until after the (rollover) and then come in and respond in
         the recovery. The (establishment of the) ICC ~ the Information Coordination
         Center.... (is compatible with) that hypothesis because that's what it's
         focusing on. It's focusing on gathering information, assessing things.....
         focusing on continuity planning, (response) and recovery in the aftermath.

         I(Do you think that that is the case? And,) if that is the case, do you think
         that there is any way to move the Administration from that position so they
         could see that we would have to pay more.... if we were to wait to (act).......

         It's more economically reasonable and wise, I think, to put resources into
         preventing and mitigating the infrastructure disruptions and technological
         disasters that we could expect in this county as well as abroad ~ than to
         wait until the rollover and come in and pick up (in the aftermath).

         CONGRESSMAN KUCINICH: I think that the answer to your question is
         "Yes" and it's "Yes" because it becomes self evident. I'm concerned that the
         moment for national leadership has been passed over. If you go forward
         right now and call (Y2K) to the public's attention, the person who does that
         whether it's the President, the Vice President or some other leader
          takes ownership and then if something goes wrong, you know ~ it's still
         politics: "You did it ~ You're Mr. Y2K". And, you know, there is an
         election in the Year 2000. (And) you can bet there's been some
         discussion about what happens if there is a failure in voting machines.

         I would say that it is unfortunate that the decision has been made to take a
         rather low profile approach.

         PAULA GORDON: Do you understand why that's (the case)?

         CONGRESSMAN KUCINICH: I would doesn't get too
         complicated: there's an election in 2000 and I don't think that anyone wants
         to risk having this issue to carry on their back if something goes wrong.
         What they do is to say enough about it so that they can go back through
         newsreels and say something about it: "...We got together at the National
         Academy of Science (which they did ~ I was there.) "We were part of a
         United Nations effort." (They were...I was there.) "You know we did all
         these things through what John Koskinen has done. We did everything we
         (could). We weren't on the stage all the time..."
         But I think that that belies a greater challenge here which is to step up to
         responsibility and claim leadership of a nation and say what we have to do
         as a country and rally (the) country around it and (that's) not being done, as you say,
         (it's) purposefully (not being done). And I think that the
         consequences can only be adverse. By the way, and I say this with only
         the greatest respect for the Administration and having been a supporter of
         the Administration in many things: I think they're missing an opportunity
         here and I think the consequences for the country will not be happy.

         However, almost four billion dollars in resources have been devoted to Y2K
         at the Federal level, most of it to make sure that all of the systems are being
         reworked. More money will be dedicated, but down the line, out of
         Washington, across the country, there will be system failures, people will
         not understand it. There will be a lot of confusion.

         In fact, the Small Business (Administration) does have a system set up to
         tell people what they can do to run a routine...analysis of their small

         We had a Year 2000 preparedness Act which would have helped raise the
         public awareness of the implications of Y2K and solutions to Y2K problems.

         You know, we need to do more though, and that more has to come out of
         the White House, plain and simple.

         So we'll still see. Is there still time? Yes, even now, even at this late
         moment, there's still time. (But).... just like anything else, the less time
         you have the greater the intensity goes and sometimes you don't get it done.
         I would say the Administration would do well to check with some of those
         who are working (in) emergency preparedness... at local community (level)
         and just talk about the massive effort that goes into just the community.
         But communities need help and we need some direction;
         we're not just thousands of different communities. We're an American
         community. That's what my concern is.

         So more can be done, but you are absolutely right, there was a decision
         made not to do it and with all due respect to John Koskinen who's probably
         pulling his hair out.....

         PAULA GORDON: Congressman, I have written a White Paper on
         Y2K.....It proposes the establishment of a Special Action Office for Y2K
         along the lines of the Federal Energy Office (at the time of ) the Federal
         energy crisis. It would be crisis-oriented and action-oriented ~ unlike the
         present effort (that) is just (focused on) information sharing, coordination,
         monitoring, and assessment, and (that) does not have anything to do with
         taking action to get communities prepared (and minimizing impacts). One of
         the things (the Office) would focus on (would be) making sure that there
         are as few technological disasters as possible.....I've confronted Mr.
         Koskinen at every opportunity I've gotten for the past year.....and brought it
         up again in May. That is, I think that there has to be an effort by the
         government to identify those most hazardous sites, plants, facilities,
         pipelines, refineries, etc., and make sure......that everything humanly
         possible has been done (so) that there's (will) be a minimum of Bhopal's
         and Chernobyl's here and abroad. "I (also) have real concerns about
         nuclear power plants.......
         The Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Energy Institute are
         not adequately attending to these issues: the embedded systems issues,
         particularly; the safety issues; the back up diesel generation capacity
         issues and all of that. It's very much in question.

         (Does) the idea (of a Special Action Office for Y2K)...... appeal to you
         or....... the other initiative of trying to focus in on....technological
         and making sure that we don't have technological disasters on top of
         infrastructure disruptions?

         CONGRESSMAN KUCINICH: I would say we have an existing structure, if
         John Koskinen was empowered to reach into that level, he could do it.

         PAULA GORDON: He doesn't want to. I've talked to him personally. He
         finds it totally anathema to his view of the role of the Federal government.

         CONGRESSMAN KUCINICH: Yeah, I would say, he could do it, but he

         I'm congenial to advancing that again in more of a legislative venue. I would
         welcome, by the way, any participation from this panel or others who are
         working on this so that within the next month, we could craft some
         legislation to have it ready closer (to the rollover)... As they get to
         November, they might be even more interested.......

         When it comes to the American community beyond those things which are
         directly related to the Federal government, supporting the communities.....
         has not been done and I'd be willing to give it another try....


6. Comments by Professor Stuart Umpleby on the July Conference on Y2K at GW

The y2k conference at GW in late July, which was organized by Paula
Gordon, was a very educational event for those who attended. My conclusion
is that key officials still do not understand the problem and hence are not
preparing adequately. For example, Federal Reserve System Governor Roger
Ferguson is aware of the liquidity problem (bank runs) but not the loan
portfolio problem -- if a lot of companies cannot function and hence cannot
repay loans, banks are in jeopardy. He is the Fed governor in charge of
increasing awareness of y2k among bankers! At the close, he said that the
discussion had been useful....

In the session on nuclear power, I was not reassured by the replies from
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the nuclear industry. The
nuclear industry apparently views the questions raised by nuclear activists
as the same issues they have raised for years. It is not clear that the
industry and the NRC see y2k as a special time with increased risks.

In the panel on education the speakers from MIT and Penn State described
how their universities are fixing internal equipment. I was the only one who
connected y2k to the education, research, and public service missions of
universities. With very, very few exceptions this pattern holds across the

The majority of officials seem to be expecting disruptions at the level of 1,2,or 3.
This is the future they are planning for. If disruptions turn out to be at the level of
5 or greater, their organizations will be unprepared. There is a saying, "Hope for
the best, prepare for the worst." Regarding y2k we are hoping for the best and
preparing for the best.

I did not expect that at this late date the level of public and official concern with
y2k would be at such a low level. Yagmur Denizhan in Turkey recently told me
about a Navajo proverb, "It is not possible to awaken someone who is
pretending to be asleep."

I heard the following quotation by Albert Camus at a conference in Germany last week.
"They were able to do so much, but they dared to do so little."
It reminded me of what Paula Gordon has been saying about government officials.

August 10, 1999




George Washington University

July 26 - 30, 1999

Sponsored by the Research Program for Social and Organizational Learning of
the Department of Management Science, School of Business and Public
Management, George Washington University. With special thanks to the Nathan
Cummings Foundation for their support for our Y2K efforts and for making the
videotaping of the conference possible.

Monday, July 26

Day 1

8:15 AM: Introductory Remarks: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

9:20 AM: Panel:
“The Scope of the Threats and Challenges of Y2K and the Embedded Systems
Crisis What More Needs to Be Done? What More Can Be Done?

Moderator: Stuart Umpleby, Professor, Department of Management
Science and Director, Research Program in Social and
Organizational Learning (RPSOL), George Washington University

Panelists: John V. McIsaac, President & CEO, Market Partners, Inc,

Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

Karl H. Müeller, head of the Departments of Political Science and
Sociology at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Vienna

Media Questioners: Gail Evra, Producer-in-charge of Y2K Coverage,
Moneyline News Hour, CNN

David Franke, World Net Daily

12: 30 to 1:30 PM LUNCH

1:30 - 3:30 PM: “Y2K Health and Quality of Life Issues ~
What More Needs to Be Done?”

Presenter: Margaret Anderson, Director of Policy, Center for Y2K &

3:30 - 3:45 PM: Break

3:45 - 5:15 PM: Panel:

“Y2K Environmental and Public Health and
Safety Issues in the US ~
Additional Actions Needed”

Moderator: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

Panelists: Lois Epstein, P.E., Environmental Defense Fund

Erik Olson, Natural Resource Defense Council

Mary Olson, Nuclear Information Resource


Tuesday, July 27, 1999

Day 2

Morning Plenary Session

8 - 9:20 AM: Panel: “Embedded Systems ~ Key to Understanding the
Seriousness of Y2K”

Moderator: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

Panelists: Gary Fisher, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Mark A. Frautschi, Consultant, Shakespeare and Tao Consulting

Commenter: Stuart Umpleby, Professor, Department of Management Science and
Director, Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning
(RPSOL), George Washington University

9:20 AM ~ 12:30 PM: Panel: “Status of Global Efforts ~ What More Needs to
Be Done?”

Moderator: Stuart Umpleby, Professor, Department of Management Science and
Director, Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning
(RPSOL), George Washington University

Panel Keynoter: The Honorable Jacquelyn Williams-Bridgers, Inspector General,
U.S. State Department

Panelists: Joyce Amenta, Y2K Program Director, World Bank/InfoDev

Bruce W. McConnell, Director, International Y2K Cooperation Center

Karl H. Müeller, head of the Departments of Political Science
and Sociology at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS),

Discussant: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

Richard Kerby, United Nations Development Program

Media Questioners: Gail Evra, Producer-in-charge of Y2K Coverage,
Moneyline News Hour, CNN

David Franke, World Net News

Closing Comments: Harlan Cleveland, President, World Academy of Art and
Science and former U.S. Ambassador to NATO

12:30 - 1:15 PM Lunch

Sector Analysis Presentations

1:30 - 2: 15 PM: Maritime/Ports/Tankers:

Presenter: Commander David Rounde, United States Coast Guard

2 - 2:45 PM ~ Rail Transportation

Presenter: Mark Frautschi, Consultant, Shakespeare & Tao

3:30 PM - 3:45 PM Break

3:45 - 4: 45 PM: International Health Concerns

Presenter: Antonio Hernandez, Pan American Health Organization/World Health


Wednesday, July 28

Day 3

8:45 - 9:30 AM: Presentation: Karl Mueller
Reflections on Y2K and Eastern Europe

9:30 - 9:45 AM: Break

Sector Analysis Presentations

9:45 - 10:45 AM: Water

Presenters: Erik Olson, Natural Resources Defense Council

Russ Kelly, Y2K author

10:45 - 11:30 AM: Food Supply and Distribution:

Presenters: Charles Riemenschneider, Food and Agricultural
Organization (FAO), United Nations

Anne Reed, CIO, US Department of Agriculture and Chair,
President’s Council Food Supply Working Group

Jennifer Hatcher, Food Marketing Institute (invited)

11:30 - 12:30 PM: Energy ~ Oil and Gas Pipelines

Presenters: Lawrence E. Gallegher, Mobil Oil Corporation and
the American Petroleum Institute

Lois Epstein, Environmental Defense Fund

Patrice Kaufman, Y2K author and researcher

12:30 - 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 - 3:15 PM Panel on Community Preparedness

Moderator: Phil Bogdonoff, Center for Y2K & Society

Panelists: Michael Nolan, City Administrator,

Jay Golter, Northern Virginia Year 2000 Community Action Group

Canon Carter Echols, Washington National Cathedral

Discussant: Paula Gordon Independent Consultant

3:15 - 3:30 PM Break

3:30 - 5:30 PM Panel on Y2K, Emergency Preparedness Planning and

Moderator: Phil Bogdonoff, Center for Y2K & Society

Key Note Speaker: Congressman Dennis Kucinich

Panelists: Joseph Licata, Emergency Management Coordinator, Fort Lee,
New Jersey

Lt. Ronald Orso, Fort Lee New Jersey Police Department

Robert Chartrand, Senior Information Specialist on Emergency

Douglas Kinney, Crisis Management Team Leader, National Foreign
Affairs Training Center, U.S. Department of State (invited)

Discussant: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant


7:00 PM - 9:00 PM: “Y2K ~ Nuclear Power Plant Safety”
at The Washington Post, 9th Floor, Community Room, 1150 15th
Street, NW (15th and L Streets, NW), Washington, D.C.


~ Mary Olson, Nuclear Information Resource Service

~ Paul Gunter, Nuclear Information Resource Service

~ David Lochbaum, Nuclear Safety Engineer, Union of Concerned Scientists

~ Jose Calvo, Branch Chief, Nuclear Regulatory Commission Electrical &
Instrumentation & Controls Branch

~ Jim Davis, Director of Operations, Nuclear Energy Institute


~ Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant


Thursday, July 29

Day 4

8:30 - 9:30 AM: Presentation: "Maintaining Public Confidence in Year 2000"

Speaker: Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Member of the Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve Bank
9:30 - 11 AM: Panel: “Social and Psychological Aspects of Y2K”

Moderator: Stuart Umpleby, Professor, Department of Management Science and
Director, Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning
(RPSOL), George Washington University

Panelists: Dr. Jerrold Post, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Political
Psychology and International Affairs, GW University

Philip Bogdonoff, Center for Y2K & Society

Paula Gordon Independent Consultant

11 - 11:15 AM: Break

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM: Panel: Y2K and Universities

Moderator: Gayle C. Willman, MIT Year 2000 Team, Massachusetts Institute of

Panelist: Stuart Umpleby, Professor, Department of Management Science and
Director, Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning
(RPSOL), George Washington University (tentative)

12: 15 - 1:45: Lunch

1:45 - 2:45: Panel: "Y2K and the Media"

Moderator: Stuart Umpleby, Professor, Department of Management Science and
Director, Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning
(RPSOL), George Washington University

Panelists: Phillip Hay, Media Relations Manager, World Bank

Professor Tony Bryan, University of Miami (invited)

David Franke, WorldNetDaily

Discussant: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

2:15 - 3:45 PM: Report on 7/29/99 Hearing on the Information Coordination
Center, recently established by the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion

Discussants: David Franke, WorldNetDaily
Mark Frautschi, Consultant, Shakespeare & Tao

3:45 - 4 PM: Break

4 - 6 PM: Panel: “The Roles That International Organizations and Other
Agencies are Playing in Addressing the Y2K and Embedded Systems Crisis and
the Roles They Might Play”

Moderator: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

Panelists: Charles Riemenschneider, Food & Agricultural Organization (UN)

John O’Keefe, Special Representative for Y2K, US Agency for
International Development, U.S. Department of State

Antonio Hernandez, Pan American Health Organization

Herbert M'cleod, United Nations Development Program,

Friday, July 30

Day 5

8:30 AM - 10:30: David Gershon
New Developments in Y2K Preparedness

10:30 - 10:45 Break

10:45 - noon Summary Panel and Comments from the Floor

Moderator: Paula Gordon, Independent Consultant

Panelists: David Gershon, Global Action Planning Group

Philip Bogdonoff, Center for Y2 & Society

Stuart Umpleby, Professor, Department of Management Science and
Director, Research Program in Social and Organizational Learning
(RPSOL), George Washington University



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