American Electric Power Company, Inc. (AEP) has appointed Joseph N Jensen as senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of its D.C. Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigon, effective January 26, 2009. It has also appointed Raymond A Hruby as vice president, site support services at Cook. Jensen succeeds Mike Rencheck. Jensen has been a vice president at Cook since 2003 most recently with responsibilities for design and plant engineering, technical projects and support services.

Cook is a dual-unit nuclear site with a total generating capacity of 2,150 megawatts.

Jensen will report to Akins. Hruby replaces and reports to Jensen.

AEP’s Cook Unit 1 has been out of service since Sept. 20, 2008, after severe turbine vibrations, caused by broken low-pressure turbine blades, damaged the main turbine and generator. The expected return-to-service timeline ranges from the second half of 2009, if rotor repair is successful, to 2010 if the rotors must be replaced before operation.

Jensen joined AEP in 2003. He served as site vice president at Cook from October 2003 to January 2008, when he was named vice president – site support services. Before joining AEP, he was plant manager at the Point Beach nuclear plant in Two Rivers, Wis. He also worked for 15 years at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generation Station in Welch, Minnesota, where he held positions as engineering director, production planning manager and training manager. Additionally, he worked as the project manager for Northern States Power Co.’s high-level waste initiatives.

Jensen is a bachelor of science degree in business management from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. He completed the executive development program at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and is a licensed senior reactor operator.

Hruby, joined AEP in March 2008 as director – Major Projects, at Cook. Before joining AEP, Hruby worked for 26 years in nuclear plants owned by FirstEnergy Corp. and Duquesne Light Co., including holding management positions in engineering, project management, operations, oversight and regulatory compliance. Hruby has a bachelor of science degree in nuclear engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pa., and is a licensed senior reactor operator.

“Jensen has an extensive background in nuclear plant operations and management, both at Cook and at other plants, and is well-prepared to successfully lead the Cook team,” said Nick Akins, AEP’s executive vice president, generation. “Jensen’s ability to seamlessly assume the responsibilities of chief nuclear officer at Cook is evidence of the succession planning and talent development program at the plant. Jensen has demonstrated a strong commitment to safety and plant reliability and has existing relationships with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations. I have every confidence that he will bring Unit 1 back to service in the time frame that we previously announced and continue our record of operational excellence at Cook”.

“At the same time, we will miss Mike’s many contributions to AEP and wish him the very best at AREVA. Under Mike’s leadership, Cook performed as one of the nation’s top nuclear plants. I’m sure AREVA will benefit from the leadership excellence that Mike has demonstrated throughout his time at AEP,” Akins said.