IURC Approves Massive Michigan Nuclear ProjectPosted: Updated:
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved a more than $1.1 billion improvement project by the Fort Wayne-based operator of a Michigan nuclear power plant. Indiana Michigan Power says the work will allow the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant, which is located near the Indiana-Michigan border, to run for an additional 20 years. July 19, 2013
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), a subsidiary of American Electric
Power (NYSE:AEP), received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
for the Life Cycle Management Project (LCM) at Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in
Bridgman, Michigan. The project will enable the plant to continue to reliably and safely
operate for the 20-year extension of its operating licenses.
The two units at the Cook Plant generate over 2,100 megawatts - enough energy to
power approximately 1.5 million homes - and account for 40 percent of the company's
power generation portfolio. The operating license for Cook Unit 1 was issued in 1974,
with the license for Cook Unit 2 issued in 1977. I&M received license extensions from
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2005 that will allow the units to run until 2034 and
2037 respectively - an additional 20 years beyond their original operating licenses.
The regulatory commission found I&M's Life Cycle Management Project to be
reasonable and necessary, and that timely recovery of costs associated with the work is
appropriate. The LCM consists of a group of projects scheduled to span six years, with
the majority of work to be performed during regularly scheduled refueling outages.
The cost was initially expected to be nearly $2 billion, but after an extensive analysis,
I&M was able to reduce the estimated cost to $1.169 billion. The IURC approved $1.146
billion of I&M's request, which will be recovered in a separate rider over the life of the
project. Customers will see a small increase in their monthly bills if the commission
approves the rider request that I&M will file soon.
"I&M is pleased that the IURC has recognized the value that Cook provides to our
customers and has approved the plans that will enable Cook to continue to be a source
of reliable, emission-free power," said Paul Chodak III, President and Chief Operating
Officer for I&M. "We look forward to moving ahead with the LCM so that the Cook Plant
will be available to meet the needs of our customers."
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,500
employees serve more than 582,000 customers. It operates 3,595 MW of coal-fired
generation in Indiana, 2,110 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan and 22 MW of hydro
generation in both states. The company also provides its customers 250 MW of
purchased wind generation.
I&M is a unit of American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP), 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
39,000 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: Indiana Michigan Power