A refueling outage for Unit 2 at the Cook nuclear power plant in Bridgman will start on Saturday. Cook plant spokesperson Bill Downey tells WSJM News the refueling outages happen about every 18 months for the plant’s two reactors. While unit 2 is offline, Unit 1 will operate and provide enough electricity for customer needs. Downey says that’s why refueling outages happen in the spring and fall, when demand is the lowest. The Cook plant is bringing in about 900 contractors for the work in addition to its usual 1,000 person staff.
“We try to stay as local as we can, but we do pull workers in from across the country because a lot of those folks, their sole method of working is traveling from plant to plant, with a lot of these union shops, and they are specialists in working in nuclear plants,” Downey said. “
Downey says in addition to refueling and maintenance, other projects planned include an inspection of the reactor vessel’s lower support column, improvements to 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. He says COVID-19 safety protocols are being followed during the work.