10/22/1998

Senior NRC Officials Tour Cook Nuclear Plant, Hold Restart Meetings at Site

BRIDGMAN, Mich., Oct. 22, 1998 -- Senior Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) officials toured American Electric Power's (NYSE:AEP) Cook Nuclear Plant today. The visit also included three meetings with AEP personnel. Senior NRC officials from the office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, Region III, and Cook plant's NRC resident inspectors toured the plant's control rooms, auxiliary feedwater systems, and the containment building, including the ice condenser systems. The three meetings included: · A technical briefing to discuss future regulatory submittals; · A meeting of senior managers from both organizations for introductory purposes, and to discuss AEP's restart strategies; · The regular public meeting of the restart panel, the fifth in a series. During the restart panel meeting, AEP provided updates on restart schedule progress to better coordinate NRC inspection schedules with expected work completion dates. AEP made presentations to the NRC on: · Restart schedule progress · Ice condenser refurbishment progress · Restart performance indicators · Engineering improvement initiatives · Future regulatory submittals to the NRC Plant officials shut down both units at the site in September 1997 because of questions raised during an NRC design inspection.The public meetings are part of the NRC’s formal restart process. Work on the plant’s ice condenser systems continues to be the longest known path to restart. The ice condensers, which hold 2.5 million pounds of ice in 1,944 cylindrical baskets in each unit, are designed to reduce pressure in the containment building and supply long-term cooling water in the event of an accident. The current restart schedule indicates Unit 1 is expected to return to service by the end of the first quarter 1999. Unit 2 restart should follow by about 90 days. Cook Nuclear Plant’s 2,110 megawatts of electricity represent 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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