Indiana Michigan Power told the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on March 31 that progress is being made on the Life Cycle Management (LCM) upgrade project for its D.C. Cook nuclear plant.
In the March 31 filing, this American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) subsidiary asked the commission for approval of: its fourth ongoing review progress report relating to the Life Cycle Management Project at Cook; adjustments to its retail electric rates to reflect both actual incurred and future projected LCM-related costs; and approval of an increase in its net operating income for fuel adjustment earnings test purposes to reflect earnings from the LCM Project, which was approved the commission in 2013.
The commission in July 2013 approved I&M’s estimated construction cost for the LCM Project (of $1.169 billion less approximately $23 million in incremental upsizing costs), and approved I&M’s anticipated construction schedule for the project.
Said the filing about the status of the project: “While there have been scope and schedule changes and sub-project cost variances to date, the LCM Project is generally on budget and on schedule. Construction of thirty (30) of the sub-projects was complete as of December 31, 2014. Additionally, ten (10) other sub-projects are scheduled to be completed in 2015. I&M has executed a number of contracts related to the Project, and the independent expert monitor continues to monitor, review, and report on the LCM Project, consistent with the Commission’s July 17 Order. Thus far, I&M has drawn upon approximately $38 million of the ‘management reserve’ dollars included in the LCM Project cost estimate, and the Project has not encountered any material adverse issues or obstacles.”
The project consists of sub-projects requiring significant capital investment (along with associated operating and maintenance expenses) intended to fulfill the extended operating licenses of Units 1 and 2 by:
- safely and reliably extending the operating lives of the units consistent with their operating licenses (i.e., until 2034 and 2037, respectively);
- increasing the safety and reliability of these units; and
- also preserving the option for a potential future increase in the electric output of these units through a potential future “capacity uprate.”
Cook Units 1 and 2 were placed in service in 1975 and 1978, respectively, under 40-year Nuclear Regulatory Commission-issued operating licenses obtained in 1974 and 1977. In 2005, I&M received 20-year license renewals from the NRC to allow Units 1 and 2 to operate until 2034 and 2037, respectively.