7/9/1998

AEP Presents Restart Schedule For Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 To Nuclear Regulatory Commission

BRIDGMAN, Mich., July 9, 1998 -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) presented its restart schedule for Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a meeting today. The schedule indicates that proposed maintenance activities will extend into late October, followed by a three to six week unit heat-up and start-up period. Work on Unit 1 will take precedence over Unit 2. The restart schedule for Unit 2 is not yet complete. "With this schedule we’ve identified the known work, job duration, and proper sequencing of the restart activities," said John Sampson, site vice president nuclear generation. "However, there is always the possibility for emergent work and changes in scope. It is also difficult to pinpoint an exact timeframe for unit start-up after being down for an extended period." The restart meeting was the second in a series in which AEP presents its planned restart actions and receives feedback from the NRC. These monthly public meetings will increase in frequency as restart approaches. Both units have been off-line since Sept. 9, 1997, when plant personnel questioned whether plant systems used to cool the reactor and containment during a postulated accident would function on a long-term basis. The restart schedule was developed as a part of the three-phase restart plan. In phase one, in-depth readiness reviews of safety systems and functional areas were performed. Those reviews were evaluated by the management team to determine which issues must be addressed prior to restart. Phase two includes building the restart schedules and concludes with completion of the identified work. During phase three, AEP will perform heat-up and restart activities. Throughout the process, the NRC will independently review the work performed and determine each unit’s readiness for restart. A major focus of the restart work is inspection and repair of the ice condenser systems. The ice in Unit 1 has been thawed to facilitate basket inspection and repair. That work is roughly halfway complete. Production of the 2.5 million pounds of ice needed to refill the baskets is in progress. Ice thaw in Unit 2 is scheduled for mid-July. The purpose of an ice condenser is to absorb rapidly the thermal energy released to the containment in the event of a loss of coolant accident or steam-line break. This reduces pressure in the containment building and also provides water for long-term cooling. In each of the two units, there are 1,944 48-foot-long cylindrical baskets. The capacity of Cook Nuclear Plant is 2,110 megawatts, approximately 9 percent of AEP’s total generation. AEP, a global energy company, is one of the United States' largest investor-owned utilities, providing energy to 3 million customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. AEP has holdings in the United States, the United Kingdom, China and Australia. Wholly owned subsidiaries provide power engineering, energy consulting and energy management services around the world. The company is based in Columbus, Ohio. On Dec. 22, 1997, AEP announced a definitive merger agreement for a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction with Central and South West Corp., a public utility holding company based in Dallas.

For More Information, Contact: William Schalk Communications Manager American Electric Power Cook Nuclear Plant 616/465-6101

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