AEP´s Cook Unit 1 refueling begins following record generation
BRIDGMAN, Mich., March 26, 2008 – American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 was safely shut down early Wednesday to begin a refueling outage. During the just-completed 18-month fuel cycle, Unit 1 operated at 100.7 percent capacity factor, a record for the dual-unit site, and generated 12,532,902 megawatthours of electricity, a record for the unit. The last three 18-month fuel cycles for Unit 1 have been the best ever in terms of generation.
“The continued strong performance of the Cook units is a testament to the dedication of our 1,400 employees and their focus on safe operations and equipment reliability,” said Michael W. Rencheck, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “With the growing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, Cook is a great example of how nuclear power strengthens the foundation of our country’s energy supply.”
More than 1,500 contracted workers will supplement the regular 1,400-person plant staff. Approximately 12,450 maintenance, inspection and equipment modification job activities and more than 200,000 work-hours are scheduled.
This refueling outage includes several plant modifications in addition to refueling the reactor, regular outage maintenance and testing work. The most significant project is the final phase of improvements to the containment building sump.
The operating licenses for Cook have been extended for an additional 20 years. Major equipment upgrades, such as reactor vessel head and steam generator replacement, are complete on both Cook units. Plans are in place for additional major project upgrades and power uprates over the next 10 years for both units.
“AEP plans to continue investing in the future of Cook for the benefit of our customers in Indiana and Michigan. These major modifications will increase generation capabilities, improve safety and efficiency, extend the life of the plant and position us to take on an even greater role in the future,” said Rencheck.
The 1,030 net megawatt (MW) Unit 1 and 1,077 net MW Unit 2 combined produce enough electricity for more than one and one half million average homes.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP’s transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP’s utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.