Donald C. Cook Nuclear Generating Station

Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant

Plant as seen from the road to the visitors center. Unit 1 is on the right
Donald C. Cook Nuclear Generating Station is located in Michigan
Location of Donald C. Cook Nuclear Generating Station within Michigan
Country United States
Location Lake Township, Berrien County, near Bridgman, Michigan
Coordinates 41°58′31″N 86°33′57″W / 41.975391°N 86.565914°W / 41.975391; -86.565914Coordinates: 41°58′31″N 86°33′57″W / 41.975391°N 86.565914°W / 41.975391; -86.565914
Construction cost $3.352 billion (2007 USD)
Owner(s) American Electric Power
Operator(s) Indiana Michigan Power Company

Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant is a nuclear power plant located just north of the city of Bridgman, Michigan which is part of Berrien County, on a 650-acre (2.6 km2) site 11 miles south of St. Joseph, Michigan, USA. The plant is owned by American Electric Power (AEP) and operated by Indiana Michigan Power, an AEP subsidiary. This is currently the company's only nuclear power plant, which has two nuclear reactors.

The construction cost of the power plant was $3.352 billion (2007 USD)[1]. The plant produces enough electricity to meet the needs of a city 1.25 million people.

The plant is connected to the power grid via one 765KV line that goes from the plant to AEP's DuMont substation near Lakeville, Indiana and by numerous 345KV lines, two of which interconnect with Consumers Energy/METC, connecting with the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station, owned by Entergy.


License expiration and renewal

The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission renewed the operating licenses of both reactors on August 30, 2005. With the renewal, Unit One's operating license will expire in 2034 while Unit Two's will expire in 2037. [1] The units were initially licensed for forty years from their operational date.

Surrounding population

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission defines two emergency planning zones around nuclear power plants: a plume exposure pathway zone with a radius of 10 miles (16 km), concerned primarily with exposure to, and inhalation of, airborne radioactive contamination, and an ingestion pathway zone of about 50 miles (80 km), concerned primarily with ingestion of food and liquid contaminated by radioactivity.[2]

The 2010 U.S. population within 10 miles (16 km) of D.C. Cook was 54,638, an increase of 3.4 percent in a decade, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data for The 2010 U.S. population within 50 miles (80 km) was 1,225,096, an increase of 2.8 percent since 2000. Cities within 50 miles include South Bend (26 miles to city center).[3]

Visitors center

The plant has a visitors center that was open to the public six days a week on a drop in basis. Since the attacks of September 11, however, the plant is open only to school groups by reservation. The visitors center features a 26 foot animated model demonstrating how the plant operates.


The plant is operated by the Indiana Michigan Power Company and owned by American Electric Power.


  • July 13th 1990 one person was killed by electrocution and three others suffered severe burn injuries from a 4kv switchgear explosion.
  • In 1976 two workers were killed in a recirculation pit (sump) by asphyxiation from argon inerting gas used to support welding on stainless steel piping.[4]
  • A transformer caused an automatic shutdown of Unit 1 in 2003.[5]
  • A massive intrusion of fish caused both units to shut down for approximately 25 hours on April 24–25, 2003.[6]
  • On September 20, 2008 unit 1's main turbine and generator were damaged by severe turbine vibrations caused by broken low-pressure turbine blades.[7] A fire also broke out in the generator of Unit 1. No radiation was released and Unit 2 continued to operate at full power [8][9]

Seismic risk

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's estimate of the risk each year of an earthquake intense enough to cause core damage to the reactor at D.C. Cook was 1 in 83,333, according to an NRC study published in August 2010.[10][11]

Additional information

  Unit 1 Unit 2
Reactor Type Pressurized Water Pressurized Water
Reactor Manufacturer Westinghouse Westinghouse
Turbine Manufacturer General Electric Brown Boveri
Generation Capacity 1,020 megawatts 1,090 megawatts
Transmission System Connection 345,000 volts 765,000 volts
Construction Began March 1, 1969 March 1, 1969
Grid connection February 10, 1975 March 22, 1978
Operational Date August 27, 1975 July 1, 1978
Expiration of Original License October 25, 2014 December 23, 2017
Expiration of Renewed License 2034 2037



External links

Media related to Donald C. Cook Nuclear Generating Station at Wikimedia Commons

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