The Cook Nuclear Plant is located on 650 acres along Lake Michigan's eastern shoreline. The tract is part of the world's largest formation of fresh water dunes. The plant is owned and operated by American Electric Power.

The construction permit for the plant was granted by the Atomic Energy Commission in 1969. The plant was named for the late Donald C. Cook, a Michigan native, and former chairman of the board of AEP. Unit 1 began commercial operation in August of 1975, and Unit 2 in July of 1978. Construction cost for both units was 1.3 billion dollars.

With both Cook units at full power, more than 2,100 megawatts of electricity are generated – enough for more than 1.5 million homes. Cook has 1,200 employees and a payroll of more than $100 million. AEP pays more than $35 million in taxes, making it by far the largest taxpayer in the county. Cook enjoys great support in the local community, and returns that support through numerous contributions to community agencies.

Nuclear energy is by far the most reliable source of electricity that doesn’t emit any air pollution, producing electricity 24/7 for 18 months before briefly shutting down to refuel. Nuclear energy has a major role in protecting America’s air quality, suppling nearly 20 percent of America’s electricity. It’s a secure source that isn’t subject to changing weather conditions, unpredictable fuel cost fluctuations or over-dependence on foreign suppliers. Energy diversity helps balance the benefits, risks and costs associated with producing electricity. Nuclear energy plays a vital role in America’s diverse electricity portfolio.


From late spring to early fall, Cook has a high-tech weather buoy in Lake Michigan that makes extensive weather and water data available to the public online or by text. The buoy can transmit air temperature, wind speed and direction, water current speed and direction, wave height and water temperatures at several depths below the surface. Still images and video clips are taken once each hour and can also be accessed online to see the exact conditions out on the lake.

Information about the buoy and a link to real-time data is available at http://bit.ly/cookbuoy and www.CookInfo.com.

You can also text 45026 to 734.418.7299 or dial-a-buoy at 888.701.8992 station 45026 for the latest conditions.


Safe nuclear operations starts with the extensive training of our operators.