Faulty Seal Shuts Down MN Nuke

Monday, December 15, 2014 @ 04:12 PM gHale

Unit 1 of the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant six miles northeast of Red Wing, MN, shut down Thursday to replace a faulty reactor coolant pump seal.

Work to fix the seal should wrap up in less than a week, officials said. The outage won’t pose a danger to anyone, according to Xcel Energy which owns the plant. Unit 2 continues to operate normally.

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During outages, Xcel buys electricity from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator or other utilities, or increases electricity production at its other plants.

This shutdown comes just a few weeks after the Unit 1 reactor returned to full power Nov. 28 after a refueling and maintenance outage.

The outage started Oct. 8, which concluded a record 644-day non-stop run for the unit, eclipsing the previous record of 559 days.

During the outage, 600 contractors helped plant staff replace one-third of the unit’s fuel and perform maintenance tasks to prepare the unit for its next operating cycle. In addition, workers replaced the unit’s main electrical transformer.

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