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Special Event

Millennium 2000: U.S. Doesn't Catch Millennium Bug

Aired January 1, 2000 - 6:08 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: The arrival of Y2K did not bring the much-anticipated and feared computer meltdown. It is estimated that nearly a trillion dollars was spent worldwide to ward off the Y2K bug. Some experts, though, say that the real test will come on Monday, the start of the first work week of the year 2000. To this point, however, it's so far, so good.

CNN's Jeanne Meserve reports from Washington.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): With the arrival of the new year, the first real test of whether systems had been bitten by the Y2K bug. It turns out the much-dreaded rollover was close to routine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We don't have anything to report. And we're very excited about that.

JOHN KOSKINEN, PRESIDENT'S Y2K COUNCIL: Critical systems in areas such as electric power, telecommunications, transportation and finance continue to function normally at this time, with very few reports of difficulties related to the date change.

MESERVE: The Pentagon reported problems with just one of its 2,11 so-called "critical" systems.

DR. JOHN HAMRE, DEPUTY DEFENSE SECRETARY: A satellite-based intelligence system experienced some Y2K failures last night shortly after the rollover of Greenwich Mean Time, and for a period of several hours we were not able to process information from that system

MESERVE: A backup system was put in place, slower but fast enough to meet the Pentagon's high priority needs.

Seven nuclear power plants reported Y2K problems with access and monitoring systems. Safety was not in jeopardy, nor was the ability generate power. At the Nine Mile Point plant in New York, for instance, meteorological data was no longer automatically transferred from one computer to another, so it's being done manually.

Amtrak had a problem directing passengers to its trains in Philadelphia for a short while, but travel was never disrupted. And the Federal Aviation Administration had trouble with a system that distributes weather information to pilots, and six airports had brief problems with their low-level wind shear alert systems.

(on camera): At one office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, a security system was replaced to prevent Y2K problems. It didn't work. Guards were posted while it was replaced.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The rollover has gone much better than even the most optimistic person expected. Of course, we're not out of the woods yet because it has been during a holiday weekend, and there's going to be a lot more stress on the system when businesses begin operating again.

MESERVE: But thus far, business has been so slow at the National Y2K Center, officials are considering reducing operations early.

Jeanne Meserve, CNN, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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