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Operators of southwestern Michigan’s Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Lake Township, MI, said one of its units is shutting down for routine refueling and maintenance.

Power at the Unit 1 reactor reduced down to 50 percent Sunday night for equipment testing in advance of Wednesday’s start of the outage, said plant spokesman Bill Schalk.

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Equipment replacement, modification and inspection work also are on tap for the outage. About 1,500 contracted workers are coming to the plant to assist the 1,200 regular staff members during the outage, Schalk said.

Indiana Michigan Power runs the plant, which is along Lake Michigan in Berrien County’s Lake Township, near Bridgman.

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The Unit 2 reactor will continue to operate during the outage. Officials haven’t said how long they expect the outage will last.

Nuclear plant operators usually schedule refueling and maintenance outages at this time of year, when seasonal temperatures typically drive lower regional power demand and lower electricity prices.

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