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Cook Unit 2 shut down for 25th refueling outage

Harbor Country News

BRIDGMAN - One of the two reactors at Cook Nuclear Plant shut down Saturday, April 17, for its 25th refueling outage.

Unit 2's reactor will be refueled and regular maintenance and testing activities will be performed, according to a news release.

Power on Unit 2 was reduced in the days prior to the shut down to allow for equipment testing. The unit will have operated for 11,987.55 hours during its last cycle at a capacity factor of 98.3 percent, generating 14,181,471 megawatt-hours of electricity.

The outage will also include an inspection of the reactor vessel's lower support column, improvements to numerous air-operated valve actuators, a fire detection system upgrade, and a project to install improved video display units in the control room for the plant's operators, according to the release.

Nearly 900 contracted workers will supplement the regular 1,000-person plant staff leading up to and during the outage. More than 10,470 maintenance, inspection and equipment modification job activities totaling 155,000 work-hours are scheduled for two daily 12-hour work shifts.

As with its Unit 1 outage last fall, Cook will again implement increased COVID-19 safety measures.

"While we're seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel as a nation, we're definitely not there yet," Joel Gebbie, American Electric Power's senior vice president and chief nuclear officer, said in the news release. "The recent spike in COVID cases around our state and even here in Berrien County provides plenty of reason to maintain our rigorous site protection standards."

He said the Berrien County Health Department recently provided on-site vaccinations to nearly 600 badged site workers and their family members.

Other highlights of the plants COVID-19 protection plan include:

Rapid COVID-19 testing capabilities for on-site trace testing, if needed;

A self-screening protocol, including mandatory temperature checks for all personnel prior to entering the site's protected area;

A strict policy for face covering and social distancing;

Sanitizing stations throughout the site for access to wipes, hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies;

Limited capacity in meeting rooms, elevators and other gathering spaces in order to maintain 6 feet of distancing;

Suspension of the plant cafeteria;

Plexiglas barriers at tables and other personal break area spaces to allow workers to rest and remove their masks safely;

Installation of several temporary buildings and conversion of non-traditional spaces to allow additional room for the workforce to be spread out;

Additional outdoor break spaces, many of which include oversized picnic tables that allow for full social distancing.

At full capacity, Cook Plant produces enough electricity for more than 1.5 million average homes.

For more information, visit www.indianamichigan or www.cook


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