|5/16/03 4:02:00 PM ET|
AEP finds cracks on Mich. Cook 2 nuke vessel
NEW YORK, May 19 (Reuters) -
Adding to the list of nuclear power reactors with vessel head
problems, American Electric Power Co Inc. (nyse: AEP
(AEP) said Monday it found cracks on the head of its 1,090 megawatt
(MW) Cook 2 unit in Michigan during a refueling
AEP said in a report to
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) the cracks will have to be
repaired before the unit's next refueling outage, which will likely
extend the length of its current refueling
Both reactors at Cook
have been shut since about April 24 when fish blocked the station's
cooling water intake system.
Cracks and other degraded conditions have been
discovered in several of the nation's pressurized water
The two units at Cook
are pressurized water reactors.
AEP has said in the past it was considering the
replacement of the vessel heads at Cook.
In the NRC report, AEP said it found "craze
cracking indications" on a reactor pressure vessel head
The company went
on to describe the degradation as "five small, shallow indications
... the indications are closely spaced ... initial calculations
showed a crack depth of 0.117 inches."
The company concluded there was "no through-wall
leakage" and "the reactor coolant pressure boundary remains
AEP said the
indications were "previously identified during the last refueling
outage in February 2002."
that time, AEP determined it was "acceptable to leave (the unit) in
service for a full cycle."
However, due to more stringent operating procedures
adopted by the nuclear power industry since 2002, AEP determined
"repairs will be needed" before another full refueling cycle even
though the cracking has "not shown any significant growth" since
There are two units at
the Cook station, the 1,035 MW unit 1 and 1,090 MW unit 2. Both
units have been shut since the fish incident on about April
The Cook station is about
11 miles south of Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Copyright 2003, Reuters News