Xcel returns nuclear power unit to service after outage

Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) returned Unit 2 reactor at the 1,100 MW Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant to full power June 6 after workers completed a scheduled maintenance and refueling outage.

During the outage, which started Feb. 22, approximately 400 contractors joined with the plant’s 800 employees to complete maintenance tasks and replace one-third of the unit’s fuel. Workers also prepared Unit 2 for installation of a new steam generator in 2013, a significant investment to support plant operations to 2034, when the unit’s extended operating license expires.

Each Prairie Island reactor is refueled approximately once every 18 months. During refueling outages, Xcel Energy purchases power from the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator or other utilities or increases electricity production at its other generating plants to ensure an adequate power supply for its customers.

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