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Feds inspect sprinkler troubles at Monticello nuclear plant

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is trying to figure out what caused part of a sprinkler system outside of the reactor building to be blocked.
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The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is trying to figure out what caused part of a sprinkler system outside of the reactor building to be blocked.

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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 plant is not expected to be down long.

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A transformer lockout at the Monticello nuclear power plant prompted an automatic shutdown Friday afternoon. Xcel Energy says the malfunction interrupted non-safety-related power, but that all safety systems functioned as designed.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors are investigating what triggered a low level emergency at the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant near Red Wing Tuesday morning. Plant officials say employees detected an increase in reactor coolant system leakage.

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The safety performance of the nuclear plant in Monticello will be the subject of a public meeting Tuesday set by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC found that the Monticello plant, owned by Xcel Energy, operated safely in 2011. The agency will also discuss its reaction to the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan, including increased inspections at U.S. nuclear plants.

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