Monticello nuclear plant completes refueling outage

Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) has completed its 27th refueling and maintenance outage at the Monticello nuclear plant in Minnesota.

The nuclear plant was listed at 50% generation early June 3, according to data from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

Xcel said June 2 that the plant was brought back online during the morning of May 30. The outage had started just after midnight on April 12.

 The 500 full-time employees were joined by more than 700 supplemental workers who replaced about one-third of the plant’s 484 fuel assemblies and performed key maintenance. This enables the station to run reliably for approximately two years until its next refueling outage, the company said.

In addition to refueling and maintenance activities, significant work was done to implement projects related to NRC-required safety upgrades following the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi accident, including upgrades to the station’s spent fuel pool instrumentation and modifications to systems that enhance safe operations in  the event of significant flooding events and events that impact the reactor core.

Workers also completed additional tasks that will enable the station to resume testing for the extended power uprate project, to ultimately reach its new rated capacity of 671 MW, which is expected this summer, Xcel Energy said.

The Monticello plant, a single-unit boiling water reactor, is 40 miles northwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul and generates enough carbon-free electricity to power nearly 500,000 homes. Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy owns and operates the plant.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.