Prairie Island 1 experiences reactor trip, goes offline

The Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) Prairie Island 1 facility in Minnesota was listed at zero generation early June 1 following an unplanned outage stemming from a reactor trip on May 31.

“On May 31, 2015 at 2220 CDT, the Unit 1 reactor was manually tripped while operating at 100 percent power due to a lockout trip of 11 Condensate Pump followed by a lockout trip of 11 Main Feedwater Pump,” according to an event notification report filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

“Manual Reactor Trip is directed by the annunciator response procedure for the lockout alarm, C47010-0101, 11 Feedwater Pump Locked Out,” according to the NRC report. “This also resulted in a turbine trip. The crew entered the reactor trip emergency operating procedures and stabilized the unit in Mode 3 at normal operating pressure and temperature.”

There was no effect on Unit 2 as a result of this trip. Unit 2 remains at 100% generation. The health and safety of the public and site personnel were not at risk at any time during this event, NRC said.

Prairie Island Units 1 and 2 are pressurized water reactors (PWRs) located in Goodhue County, Minn. They each have a nameplate capacity of roughly 590 MW. The units are operated by Xcel utility Northern States Power.

During outages, Xcel Energy purchases electricity from the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) or other utilities or increases electricity production at its other generating plants to ensure an adequate power supply for customers, the company said.

The Prairie Island nuclear plant is 28 miles southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul and about six miles northwest of Red Wing.

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