Turbine Issue Shuts MN Nuke

Monday, December 21, 2015 @ 04:12 PM gHale

One of the two reactors at Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island nuclear plant shut down automatically after a problem developed in the unit’s turbine.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) inspectors are at the plant looking into why the turbine went offline Thursday, said NRC spokeswoman Viktoria Mitlyng. When that happened fire alarms went off in the control room, she said.

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Because it took more than 15 minutes for plant operators to confirm there was no fire, they had to report it to the NRC as an “unusual event,” which they did around 1:15 p.m., she said.

Investigators are looking into why the fire alarms went off, but Mitlyng said the plant remains safe.

Xcel Energy, which operates the plant, spokeswoman says the company is preparing a statement.

There’s no indication yet the turbine problem and the false fire alarms in the Unit 2 containment building ended up connected, but there was no danger to the public, said Xcel Energy spokesman Randy Fordice.