Cook Unit 1 refueling outage is complete

BRIDGMAN — Cook Nuclear Plant is now operating at full power after Unit 1 was taken off line for refueling 65 days ago.

Unit 1 completed its refueling outage at 5:25 p.m. Thursday, plant spokesman Bill Downey said in a news release.

In addition to refueling the reactor and performing regular maintenance and testing work, the outage included inspection and replacement of baffle bolts, which support internal components of the reactor vessel. Also completed during the outage was a main generator stator rewind, a reactor coolant pump motor and pump seal refurbishment, and various instrumentation and control system modernizations.

“Completing the baffle bolt work during this outage was a particularly significant milestone for us,” said Joel Gebbie, senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, in the release. “It represents the last of a multi-year effort to ensure our reactor vessels in both units will operate safely and reliably for years to come.”

Prior to the start of the outage, Cook’s Unit 1 had operated for 463 consecutive days at a capacity factor of 102.2 percent, generating 11,727,171 megawatt-hours of electricity. This was the second straight cycle that Cook Unit 1 consistently remained online between refueling outages, also known as a breaker-to-breaker run.

About 1,750 contracted workers supplemented the regular 1,100-person plant staff leading up to and during the outage. More than 12,000 maintenance, inspection and equipment modification job activities totaling 325,000 work-hours were completed during two daily 12-hour work shifts.

At full capacity, the 1,084-net MW Unit 1 and 1,194-net MW Unit 2 combined produce enough electricity for more than one and one half million average homes.