AEP’s Cook Nuclear Plant operating licenses extended 20 years by NRC

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BRIDGMAN, Mich., Aug. 30, 2005 – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) today approved the renewal of operating licenses for the two generating units at American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. The operating license for Cook Unit 1 was renewed until 2034 and for Cook Unit 2 until 2037.

“Our customers and our country need nuclear power to continue to play a vital role in meeting the nation´s energy demands,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP´s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The renewal of the Cook plant´s operating licenses is a significant achievement, one that assures the plant can continue to provide safe, reliable and efficient power to AEP’s customers for many years to come.”

AEP filed the renewal application with the NRC in November 2003 after spending more than two years and 40,000 work hours performing an extensive safety review of the effects of aging on the Cook Nuclear Plant’s systems, structures and components. The application included a number of analyses and programs designed to effectively manage the impact of extended operation. To support the application, the company also performed a thorough review of the environmental impacts of license renewal on the 650-acre plant site, the surrounding communities and more than 250 miles of transmission corridor.

Since receiving the application from AEP, the NRC has conducted its own review of the more than 1,200-page application. The extensive review included five onsite inspections or audits and required more than 15,000 hours of work. In addition, the NRC conducted three public information meetings designed to explain the license renewal process and receive public comment on extension of the plant’s operating license.

“The community has shown us great support during this process and we’re excited that our partnership of jobs, tax base, and community service can continue for many years,” said Mano K. Nazar, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “Our 1,400 employees remain committed to the highest standards of safe, reliable and efficient operation for our neighbors and customers.”

The Cook Nuclear Plant represents approximately 8 percent of AEP’s generating capacity. The plant is capable of providing more than 2,100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power more than one and one half million typical homes.

Cook Unit 1 went on-line in 1975 and Unit 2 in 1978. The units were originally licensed for 40 years of operation.

American Electric Power owns more than 36,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and is the nation´s largest electricity generator. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.
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MEDIA CONTACT:
Bill Schalk
Cook Information Center Manager
American Electric Power
269/465-6101