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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 (260 ha) site 11 miles south of St. Joseph, Michigan, United States. The plant is owned by American Electric Power (AEP) and operated by Indiana Michigan Power, an AEP subsidiary. It has two nuclear reactors and is currently the company's only nuclear power plant.
The construction cost of the power plant was $3.352 billion (2007 USD). The plant produces 2.2 GW of electricity, enough to meet the needs of a city with 1.25 million people.
The plant is connected to the power grid via one 765 kV line that goes from the plant to AEP's DuMont substation near Lakeville, Indiana and by numerous 345 kV lines, two of which interconnect with METC, connecting with the Palisades Nuclear Generating Station, owned by Entergy.
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. The units were initially licensed for forty years from their operational date.
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.
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 msnbc.com. 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, IN (26 miles to city center), Michigan City, IN, St. Joseph, MI, and Kalamazoo, MI.
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 (7.9 m) animated model demonstrating how the plant operates.
The plant is operated by the Indiana Michigan Power Company and owned by American Electric Power.