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December 18, 2014

Monticello nuclear plant shuts down

Xcel Energy says its Monticello nuclear power plant automatically shut down at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday, but officials aren’t sure why and a cause is being investigated, the Pioneer Press reports.

All plant safety systems were functioning, officials with the Minneapolis-based utility said. The shutdown posed no danger to the public or workers, Xcel officials said. The shutdown is not expected to be “lengthy,” Xcel says.

Here’s the brief press release from the company, which explains that customers won’t notice any power loss. In the case of a shutdown, Xcel purchases electricity from other utilities or increases production at its other plants so that customers get power.

More than 500 people work at the single-unit boiling water reactor near Red Wing. The plant produces enough electricity to serve about 500,000 homes.