5/28/2003

Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 returns to service following fish intrusion

BRIDGMAN, Mich., May 28, 2003 - American Electric Power’s (NYSE:AEP) Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 returned to service today while Unit 2 remains in a 35-day refueling outage that began on May 5. Both Cook units were taken off-line on April 24 because of an influx of fish in the plant’s cooling water system.

During the shutdown, AEP:

  • Repaired, cleaned and inspected the systems affected by the fish intrusion

  • Refurbished the water intake system traveling water screens

  • Installed a fish deterrent system on the water intake pipes in Lake Michigan

  • Revised operational procedures for abnormal lake conditions

The plant’s intake water screen system was overwhelmed April 24 when an estimated 2 million alewives entered the intake pipes in search of warmer water to spawn or feed. Plant operators shut down both units and activated the plant’s emergency plan because of a concern with the potential loss of cooling water. Full system flow was restored within two hours. The emergency classification was lifted the following morning after detailed testing was completed to assure adequate flow to safety systems.

The Unit 2 refueling outage is scheduled for completion in mid-June. Repairs to cooling systems because of the fish intrusion and to five small defects in the reactor vessel head are nearing completion.

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.

Bill Schalk
Communications Manager
American Electric Power
269/465-6101