WASHINGTON -- A year 2000 computer glitch at a U.S.
Energy Department nuclear weapons plant in Tennessee remains
unfixed, but workers have been able to track nuclear material at
the site using an alternative system, a department official said
John Gilligan, who oversees the department's computer
systems, said the Oak Ridge plant has been operating safely and
workers have been able manually to work around the problem.
The glitch affected a computer that tracks nuclear material
used at the plant in the production of weapons based on weight
and level of radioactivity to make sure it is not lost or
stolen, he said.
''In the context of things, this really was very minor,''
Gilligan told Reuters.
He said workers at Oak Ridge discovered over the weekend
that the computer was unable to send data to the Energy
Department's headquarters in Washington for several hours.
Workers eventually were able to put the information on
magnetic tapes and forward it to the department. The data
continues to be sent using this alternative system, he said.
The data that is collected is not real-time information,
just a summary, so there was no delay in the Energy Department
getting the tracking data, Gilligan said.
''There was no interruption because there were no reports
due,'' he said. ''No loss of data, no other impacts.''
Of the computer involved, Gilligan said: ''It's used
basically to inventory and account for material. Part of our
job, obviously, is to ensure that we don't have any lost