BRIDGMAN, Mich., March 21, 2016 – Indiana Michigan Power’s Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 will begin its twenty-sixth refueling outage Tuesday at midnight. Power was reduced to 50 percent Sunday evening for equipment testing prior to the outage. During the 18-month fuel cycle, the unit is projected to have generated 11.6 million megawatthours of electricity at a capacity factor of 91 percent. Cook Unit 2 remains at 100 percent power.
“AEP continues to invest in the Cook Nuclear Plant and southwest Michigan,” said Joel Gebbie, AEP Chief Nuclear Officer and Senior Vice President. “The major component replacements are just part of our reliability improvements and increased safety margins that will benefit the plant for decades to come.”
In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing work, the current outage also includes several Life Cycle Management (LCM) projects. In 2005, Cook received license renewals from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that will allow the units to run to 2034 and 2037 respectively. That is an additional 20 years beyond their original licenses.
One of the LCM projects this outage is replacement of two 60-ton feedwater heaters that pre-heat water before it enters the steam generators. A 40-ton safety-related heat exchanger will also be replaced. Other modifications will enhance the reliability of plant emergency electrical systems and decrease the wear on steam generator tubes.
About 1,500 contracted workers will supplement the regular 1,200-person plant staff leading up to and during the outage. More than 13,500 maintenance, inspection and equipment modification job activities totaling almost 300,000 work-hours are scheduled for two daily 12-hour work shifts. The expected outage duration is not released for commercial reasons.
At full capacity, the 1,030-net MW Unit 1 and 1,077-net MW Unit 2 combined produce enough electricity for more than one and one half million average homes.
Indiana Michigan Power is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP).