Outage begins early at Prairie IslandOperators at Prairie Island nuclear plant began a refueling outage on Unit 2 at 10:37 p.m. Friday.
Operators at Prairie Island nuclear plant began a refueling outage on Unit 2 at 10:37 p.m. Friday. The outage started slightly ahead of schedule due to an unexpected turbine trip when the reactor was at approximately 13 percent power.
When the turbine tripped, the reactor shut down automatically, as it’s designed to. The automatic shutdown did not pose any danger to workers or the public, according to Xcel Energy, which owns and operates the plant. The cause of the turbine trip is under investigation.
The planned outage follows more than 500 days of continuous operation. During the outage, approximately 600 contractors will help plant staff complete maintenance tasks to prepare the unit for its next operating cycle and will replace one-third of the unit’s fuel.
Each of the two 550-megawatt reactors at Prairie Island is refueled approximately once every 18 months, and refueling outages generally last from four to six weeks.
Unit 1 remains at full power.