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Significant improvements have been taking place in the power and extent of the monitoring and control systems employed by electrical power utilities, with the result that strategic decisions are having to be made concerning the use of the increased data now available. The evolutionary changes being made to power systems are introducing increased expectations of the performance of system management and control. However, more effective system control can only be exercised if the increased volume of data is matched by an increased capacity to interpret system conditions from the control room. The decision support system described in this paper makes use of expert system techniques in order to provide intelligent reasoning based on the incoming alarm data. Both the readily available benefits, and the advance towards the next generation of power systems which this type of system will afford shall be presented along with a description of the decision support system.