Nuclear plant outage ends after refuelingPrairie Island nuclear plant’s Unit 2 reactor is back to full power after a planned refueling outage ended early Tuesday morning, Xcel Energy officials said.
Prairie Island nuclear plant’s Unit 2 reactor is back to full power after a planned refueling outage ended early Tuesday morning, Xcel Energy officials said.
The outage, which started at the end of February, allowed for crews to complete maintenance and replace one-third of the unit’s fuel. They also prepared the reactor for a new steam generator to be installed in 2013.
This most recent outage lasted several weeks longer than a typical one, officials said. It started Feb. 22 and ended Tuesday just after 4 a.m.
A spokesman for Xcel said many factors contributed to the extended outage, including additional maintenance work and inspections on the reactor identified after the outage was under way.
About 400 contractors joined the plant’s existing 800 employees to do the work during the outage.
Each of Prairie Island’s two reactors is slated to be refueled about once every 18 months. During the outage, Xcel purchases power from the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator or other utilities, or increases electricity production form other generating plants.