BRIDGMAN, Mich., Dec. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Electric Power's (NYSE: AEP) Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 reached full power Tuesday after completing testing and monitoring of the restored turbine generator system. Reactor start-up began last Friday, and an initial connection to the transmission grid took place early Saturday morning. Although at full reactor power, the electrical output will be reduced by an annual average of approximately 70 megawatts because the repaired low-pressure turbine rotors do not include the largest row of blades. New low-pressure turbine rotors that support full electrical output will be installed in the fall of 2011.
The 1,030-megawatt unit had been out of service since September 2008 when turbine vibrations, caused by broken low-pressure turbine blades, damaged the turbine generator, support structures and associated systems.
Cook Unit 1 is now scheduled for refueling in March 2010. While there would be sufficient fuel to operate for a longer period, the refueling will be done then to maintain a site refueling schedule that does not require both units to be off line at the same time.
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
SOURCE American Electric Power