3-17-HP-cook plant-file photo

It’s widely known Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman and Palisades Power Plant in Covert have plans in case of earthquakes and other natural disasters.

They also have plans for pandemics, such as the current spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19.

Bill Downey, Cook plant spokesman, and Val Gent, Palisades spokeswoman, said both plants are on the same page as neighbors and industry peers.

Cook has about 1,100 full-time employees and Palisades has about 600 that they want to keep safe, but also keep producing safe and reliable energy for the hundreds and thousands of other people that are stuck in their homes.

“Cook plant’s longstanding and long-practiced emergency preparedness plans, combined with AEP and Indiana Michigan Power’s documented pandemic protocols, position us well to manage safe and reliable operation through the duration of the COVID-19 situation,” Downey said.

Gent said Palisades remains safe, secure and stable, and there is currently no impact on the delivery of energy.

“We are confident our business continuity plan, which is specifically designed for these types of situations, will ensure the reliable delivery of electricity, as we respond appropriately to any potential risks,” she said.

The plants are employing steps such as social distancing, including travel restrictions, meeting reductions, and tele-commuting for employees not considered essential for daily operation.

Downey said the Cook plant is also prepared to sequester critical employees, should that become necessary.

“We stand ready to do whatever we must to safely keep the power flowing for our customers,” he said.

Gent said Palisades employees have been educated on self-checking for symptoms and other good hygiene precautions as well.

Like most places, the nuclear plants have also increased the frequency of disinfecting and cleaning common areas and items.

Gent said those items include door handles and hand geometry stations that are needed for plant access.

Palisades is also working closely with its suppliers to assess the potential impact to delivery of goods and services to the company.

Gent and Downey both said they continue to monitor the situation closely and are working with public health officials to implement any recommended public health measures as directed.

Contact: anewman@TheHP.com, 932-0357, Twitter: @HPANewman