2/28/2002

AEP’S COOK NUCLEAR COMPLETES SHORTEST EVER REFUELING OUTAGE

BRIDGMAN, Mich., Feb. 28, 2002 - American Electric Power’s (NYSE: AEP) Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 2 resumed production of electricity this morning following a scheduled refueling and maintenance outage. Workers completed the outage in 40 days, the shortest refueling in the plant’s 27-year history. Site-best performance was also realized in occupational radiation dose.

“These site records represent a lot of hard work by employees and sacrifices from our families,” said A. Christopher Bakken III, senior vice president. “A shorter refueling outage, coming on the heels of a good year for generation, shows the Cook team has made a full recovery from the extended shutdown. I’m confident we can expect more performance improvements in the future.”

The shortest refueling outage at Cook previously was 47 days in 1996. The nuclear industry average in 2000 was 40 days.

Radiation dose is projected to be 130 rem, 55 rem less than the 1996 refueling. Radiation dose is measured in rem, which is based on the effect of radiation on the human body. Cook has planned a plant modification for the 2003 refueling outage for both units that should considerably reduce radiation exposure in future outages, and bring Cook more in line with the industry average dose for similar reactors of about 120 rem for each refueling.

During the outage, workers performed more than 4,700 work tasks on a variety of plant components and systems. Specific major projects included:

  • Overhauling and inspecting the high-pressure turbine

  • Completing reactor head penetration inspections

  • Replacing 80 of the reactor’s 193 fuel assemblies with new assemblies

Reactor head inspections were among the most extensive performed in the industry. One hundred percent of the 78 penetrations were visually inspected, as well as with additional non-destructive examination techniques. No reportable indications were detected, and no repairs were required.

Cook Unit 1 remained at 100% power throughout the Unit 2 refueling.

American Electric Power is a multinational energy company based in Columbus, Ohio. AEP owns and operates more than 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity, making it America’s largest generator of electricity. The company is also a leading wholesale energy marketer and trader, ranking second in North America in wholesale electricity and wholesale natural gas volume. AEP provides retail electricity to more than 7 million customers worldwide and has holdings in the U.S. and select international markets. Wholly owned subsidiaries are involved in power engineering and construction services.

William Schalk
Communications Manager
Cook Nuclear Plant
616/465-6101

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