99-106
December 22, 1999

Brookhaven Lab Prepared for Y2K Rollover

UPTON, NY - The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has reviewed its operations and procedures and expects to enter the Year 2000 with little or no impact on those operations.

Friday, December 31 is a holiday for Brookhaven Lab. Two of the Lab's major facilities - the National Synchrotron Light Source and the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider - will not be operating on December 31. The Alternating Gradient Synchrotron will be operating, but will go into standby mode briefly before midnight to minimize the potential for any problems. All three facilities are particle accelerators.

Brookhaven Lab initiated a comprehensive and proactive program in mid-1998 to get ready for Y2K. The Laboratory worked closely with the Department of Energy to review all of Brookhaven's operations and meet the milestones defined by the federal government for Y2K compliance.

As part of that review, Laboratory systems were inventoried, classified according to potential impacts (including health and safety), assessed, remediated and tested. Brookhaven's most critical systems were also subjected to independent verification and validation by representatives from the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory's computer engineering division. All of the Laboratory's critical systems were Y2K-ready in the first quarter of 1999, virtually eliminating the potential for any health or safety problem for Brookhaven personnel or the general public. The Laboratory spent approximately $1 million on Y2K readiness.

Although Laboratory management is confident that Brookhaven is prepared for Y2K, no enterprise, public or private, can guarantee 100-percent security against data/date contamination from third parties. So until the New Year arrives, Brookhaven will be expecting the best, but prudently planning for problems.

On any given day, the Laboratory is staffed with emergency-service personnel, facility personnel and security staff. For the Y2K rollover, Brookhaven will be supplementing its usual staff in those areas. Also, the Lab will have employees on call in case problems do arise on December 31 or after. Some aspects of Brookhaven's operational plans are weather-dependent. For example, as December 31 approaches and the weather picture is clearer, staffing requirements may be adjusted in selected areas.

For more than 50 years, Brookhaven National Laboratory has focused on excellent science, constructing and operating large facilities for the thousands of scientists and guest researchers who use them each year. When the calendar turns to the Year 2000, the Lab expects to conduct business then as it does now.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory creates and operates major facilities available to university, industrial and government personnel for basic and applied research in the physical, biomedical and environmental sciences, and in selected energy technologies. The Laboratory is operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, a not-for-profit research management company, under contract with the U.S. Department of Energy.

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