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January 28, 2013

Certificate of necessity for Indiana Michigan Power Company’s project at Cook Nuclear Plant approved

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Written by: Bruce Snook
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The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) Monday (January 28th) approved a modified certificate of necessity (CON) for Indiana Michigan Power Company’s proposed life-cycle management (LCM) project at its Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Mich. The MPSC order marks the first time that a CON has been granted since enactment of Public Act 286 of 2008.

The utility, on May 1, 2012, filed an application with the MPSC seeking the CON and related accounting authority for its proposed significant investments at its existing, recently relicensed Cook facility. In its filing, the company said the project, expected to be complete by 2018, will enable it to achieve the benefits of the extended licenses.

In Monday’s order, the Commission approved a CON amount of $850,972,100, about 17 percent of which will eventually be assigned to Michigan ratepayers. The utility originally requested $1.169 billion.

Monday’s order also directs the utility to engage a third party contractor to provide semi-annual updates on the progress of the LCM, including information on construction progress and budget information, and to consult with the Commission’s CON section staff within 60 days to discuss the appropriate contents of the first report.

The MPSC is an agency within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Source:  News release from Michigan Public Service Commission


  1. A E I O U and sometimes Y

    OK, so we have the MPSC approving a CON for I&M’s modified LCM. Is it just me or does one have to be on LSD, or smoke PCP to understand WTF these. SOB’s are talking about or are we all just SOL and have to guess?

    I just hate reading articles that feel like they were texted….LOL,


  2. Ruth Strawser

    With the general and wide-spread demise of journalism, people have to look to see whether it is a news report or a news release. They are two distinct things, the latter nothing more than a press release by the people wishing to control the information. I’m glad that Mr. Snook still prints his article source. Many media outlets do not.

    Certificates of necessity are more widely known as certificates of need – the applicant, in this case the owners the Cook Nuclear Power Plant, present their “need” to make changes to the nuclear power plant to ensure their retaining long-term licenses to operate the recommissioned nuclear facility, thereby increasing their profit margin with minimal interference. The Michigan Public Service Commission — whose mission is to “grow Michigan’s economy and enhance the quality of life of its communities by assuring safe and reliable energy, telecommunications, and transportation services at reasonable rates” — approved an up front cost to taxpayers of approx. $144,665,257 in rate hikes. (Can’t say when the “grow MI’s economy” was added to their original mission statement.)

    The proposed LCM (life-cycle management plan) is the official document outlining what the nuclear power business calls “a balancing act between short and long-term strategic goals and the extended life of the plant. It encompasses a complex and interconnected group of features including financial models, long-term aging strategies, preventive maintenance programs and obsolescence planning tools. The key is a complete understanding of the aging processes, the life-limiting
    situations, and the establishment of thresholds. This knowledge, applied to the definition and qualification of suitable corrective and preventive actions, facilitates the risk/benefit analyses that result in the most cost-effective decisions.” (This definition came from one such international nuclear plant systems provider called Framatome-ANP, whose report contains a to-be-expected nuclear energy backslapping intro, pre-Fukushima meltdown.)
    Twice a year, the plant owners’ agents will let the Public Service know how they’re coming along (including if they’ll be over-budget which will end up hiking rates even more), but before that their sub-contractors will meet with the Public Service Commission department overseeing the Certificates of Necessity in order to come to an agreement as to what information even needs to be provided to the Commission and in what format.

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