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Reviews are good after states, counties rehearse evacuation at nuclear plant

A drill at the Prairie Island nuclear power plant simulated an emergency that required evacuation of the surrounding area. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will issue a report in a month or two. But a Homeland Security official says things generally went well at last week's drill.
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A drill at the Prairie Island nuclear power plant simulated an emergency that required evacuation of the surrounding area. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will issue a report in a month or two. But a Homeland Security official says things generally went well at last week's drill.

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Xcel Energy looks into 'unusual event' at Prairie Island nuclear plant

Officials at the Prairie Island nuclear power plant are investigating what it calls an "unusual event" after a piece of security equipment failed Wednesday afternoon, according to a news release. Xcel Energy said no radioactive material was released during the incident and there is no danger to the public or its workers.

Investigators look into 'unusual event' at Prairie Island Nuclear Plant

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.

Xcel Energy drops plan to upgrade Prairie Island nuclear power plant

Xcel Energy says spending nearly $240 million to boost the power output at its Prairie Island nuclear plant near Red Wing is no longer a beneficial deal for customers, the Star Tribune reports. The Minneapolis-based utility first raised questions with regulators about the $310 million upgrade in March.

Prairie Island nuclear reactor worries tribe

The Prairie Island Indian community says the failure of two backup generators at the Prairie Island nuclear plant is "very troubling," the Rochester Post Bulletin reports. Xcel Energy shut down one of its two reactors at the plant near Red Wing on Tuesday. Xcel assured no radiation was released.

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Regulators say a security violation at Xcel Energy's nuclear plant near Red Wing was spotted during an October inspection and was corrected then. They won't reveal the details of the violation but say follow-up inspections are planned.

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Xcel Energy has shut down two of its three nuclear reactors in Minnesota. At the Monticello plant a gasket needs repair and emergency generators are not working at one of the two reactors at Prairie Island. No radiation was released in either case. Xcel is buying electricity during the repairs, which should take a couple of days.

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Dennis Koehl, currently the senior vice president and chief nuclear officer of Xcel Energy has been named the CEO of the South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Co. Koehl will leave in mid-September after nearly five years with the Minneapolis-based utility. The Business Journal reports an interim chief nuclear officer, responsible for the company's Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear plants, will be named soon.

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A security supervisor at Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear power plant was fired after he was caught faking a drug test urine sample, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission says. The deception was uncovered when a test technician noticed the sample cup did not feel warm, the NRC said in an agency report that was not released until Tuesday -- two years after the incident.