D.C. Cook plant fire prompts NRC investigation

June 17, 2002 — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has begun a special inspection of the circumstances surrounding a circuit breaker fire Wednesday (June 12) at the D. C. Cook Nuclear Power Station at Bridgman, Michigan. The two-reactor facility is operated by American Electric Power Co.

Both units at the plant were in operation at the time, Unit 1 was a 68 percent power after starting up from a refueling and maintenance outage, and Unit 2 was at 100 percent power. The units remained in operation.

The damage occurred in the 345 kilovolt switch yard at the plant. Although the plant lost its preferred connection to offsite electrical power, equipment and safety systems continued to be powered by the auxiliary transformer for each unit.

The company declared an Alert under its emergency plan, and the NRC monitored plant activities from the Regional Office in Lisle, Illinois, and its Operations Center in Rockville, Maryland. The agency’s resident inspector was onsite and the senior resident inspector from the nearby Palisades plant responded to the site as well.

The NRC’s special inspection will review the causes of the damage, the work underway in the switchyard at the time, and the utility’s repair and recovery plans.

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