Over the years, the BSL has experienced problems with the McCone generator system, including a failure in 1999 due to a combination of a weakened power system and a leak in the water pump. In the 2001-2002 Annual Report, we described the failure of the McCone and Byerly generators during the March 7, 2002 campus-wide power outage.

While the failure of the generator at Byerly Vault was traced to PPCS human error (the generator had been left in a mode where it would not automatically start when power was lost), the failure of the McCone generator was due to poor maintenance. Similar to the situation in 1999, it failed due to problems in the power system combined with a leak in the water pump.

In the fall of 2002, BSL staff met with Eric Haemer, Sara Shirazi, and several others from PPCS to discuss maintenance and routine load testing of the McCone generator. As a result, the McCone generator is scheduled for quarterly load tests and bi-monthly run tests.

Berkeley Seismological Laboratory
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