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Prairie Island

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.

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.

NRC signs deal to work with Prairie Island tribe

Federal nuclear regulatory officials and Prairie Island Indian Community have agreed to cooperate on some issues as the agency considers how to deal with the high-level nuclear waste that has been piling up for years at Xcel Energy’s nuclear plant in Red Wing. Nuclear plants nationwide have been storing their own spent-fuel waste as long-discussed plans for a national waste repository have stalled.

Xcel's chief nuclear officer Koehl resigns

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.

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.

Two Minnesota nuclear reactors shut down with separate problems

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.

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.

NRC: Prairie Island security supervisor faked drug test

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.

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.

Federal regulators order Xcel Energy to make safety improvements at nuclear power plants

The Minneapolis-based utility needs to add more portable generators and pumps at both its Monticello and Prairie Island plants, in case of an emergency. The Pioneer Press reports the new requirements will cost between $25 million and $50 million.

Security breach at Prairie Island nuclear plant called "low to moderate significance"

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.

Prairie Island plant official maintains radioactive water leaks pose 'no risk'

Water leaks containing radioactive tritium and other chemicals from the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant pose 'no risk' according to a plant spokesman. The Red Wing Republican Eagle reports some 4,000 gallons of contaminated water have leaked from the facility since November. Officials say they reported the leaks to state and federal officials.

Some schools hope for improved communication after Prairie Island chemical leak

The leak of more than 500 gallons of chlorine bleach was a scare but apparently not a public health threat. The responses of neighboring school districts varied. While Red Wing issued no alert, Prescott announced a cancellation of classes, then changed that to a delay.

Prairie Island nuclear plant sounds alert after chlorine leak

Officials at the plant say no radioactive material escaped and the public is in no danger after chlorine bleach leaked from a tank inside the facility. Schools in Prescott and Ellsworth delayed classes as a precaution.