Bridgman, Mich., December 18, 2009 — American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has restarted the Cook Nuclear Plant Unit 1 reactor and has begun testing the unit’s repaired turbine generator system. The 1,030-megawatt unit has 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. (For more nuclear news, click here.)
The unit will be connected to the transmission grid with repaired low-pressure turbine rotors that do not include the last row of blades. Testing and monitoring will take place on and off line over the next several days. When the unit returns to full power, the electrical output will be reduced by an annual average of approximately 70 megawatts. New low-pressure turbine rotors that support full electrical output will be installed in the fall of 2011.
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.