Cook Plant refueling outage starts today

BRIDGMAN — One of the two nuclear reactors at Cook Nuclear Plant will shut down today for its 24th refueling outage.

Unit 2 will shut down at 10 p.m. to refuel the reactor and perform regular maintenance and testing activities, plant spokesman Bill Downey said in a news release Monday.

A gradual power reduction for the unit began Sept. 9 at 11:59 p.m., and has continued in order to conserve remaining fuel life until the unit is taken offline to begin the outage.

Projects during the outage include modifications to the unit’s solid state protection system, in-service inspections of the reactor vessel, replacement of the reactor vessel hold down spring, heater drain pump mechanical seal replacements, fuse upgrades on the control room instrumentation distribution system, and replacement of the west motor driven auxiliary feed pump room cooling system.

“Some of the work included in this outage will help us complete the Life Cycle Management Project we have been working on for the last several years,” said Joel Gebbie, AEP senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “Our Indiana Michigan Power customers depend on a reliable, safe supply of electricity to power their lives. The Cook Plant is now well prepared to provide that much-needed electricity for the next 20 years and beyond.”

How long the outage will last was not released, but outages usually take about several months.

About 1,150 contracted workers will supplement the regular 1,100-person plant staff leading up to and during the outage. More than 9,500 maintenance, inspection and equipment modification job activities totaling 230,000 work-hours are scheduled for two daily 12-hour work shifts.

At full capacity, Cook Plant produces enough electricity for more than 1.5 million average homes.