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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.
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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.

Meanwhile, one of the two units at Prairie Island was shut down Tuesday morning for refueling and other maintenance, the Pioneer Press reports. The scheduled outage is expected to last four to six weeks.

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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.

Xcel Energy rethinks expansion of Prairie Island nuclear plant

The Minneapolis-based utility is asking Minnesota regulators to confirm the $310 million upgrade will benefit customers. Xcel says the project will take more time to complete and produce less power than originally thought. The company also says generating electricity with natural gas is more financially attractive because prices are at 10 year lows.

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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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