Cook Unit 2 refueling outage to include vessel head repairs

BRIDGMAN, Mich., May 20, 2003 — American Electric Power (AEP) will repair several minor defects on the Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 2 reactor vessel head, but this should not affect the refueling outage duration.

The five small, shallow indications originally were identified during inspections in 2002, and they have not shown signs of increasing. However, new industry rules dictate that they be repaired before the unit is returned to service.

“We have the equipment and personnel in place to make the repairs,” said Chris Bakken, senior vice president – nuclear generation. “We don’t believe that additional welding will be required, but we are also prepared to perform that work within our current schedule if necessary.”

The refueling outage began May 5 and is currently scheduled for 35 days.

Cost of the Unit 2 repairs is already included in the refueling outage budget.

A full visual inspection is planned for the Unit 1 reactor head during a refueling outage in the fall. AEP continues to evaluate reactor vessel head replacement for both units but has not reached a final decision.

Both Cook units were taken off-line on April 24 when a massive intrusion of fish temporarily disrupted cooling water flow to the plant. Cleaning and inspections of cooling water systems for both units continue. A fish deterrent system is being installed in the Lake Michigan water intake system. Unit 1 is expected to return to service around the end of the month.

American Electric Power owns and operates more than 42,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States and select international markets and is the largest electricity generator in the U.S. AEP is also one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with almost 5 million customers linked to AEP’s 11-state electricity transmission and distribution grid. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio.