Xcel takes down Prairie Island Unit 1 due to issue with reactor coolant pump

Operators safely shut down Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant Unit 1 at 12:16 p.m. CDT on April 7 to repair a reactor coolant pump seal, said Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) in an April 8 statement.

The work is expected to be completed in several weeks. The company said that this situation poses no danger to the public or plant workers.

The Prairie Island nuclear plant, which is about six miles northwest of Red Wing, Minn., is owned by Xcel Energy. The plant’s two pressurized water reactors generate 1,076 MW in total, with each unit representing about half that total. During outages, Xcel Energy purchases electricity from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator market or other utilities or increases electricity production at its other generating plants to ensure an adequate power supply for customers.

The two pressurized water reactors at the Prairie Island facility generate about 20% of the electricity used by Xcel Energy’s customers in the Upper Midwest. The plant is located about 40 miles southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.