Prairie Island Unit 1 Begins Refueling Outage

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By Editors of Power Engineering

Unit 1 of Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant began a planned outage last Saturday. During the shutdown, more than 1,000 workers will perform equipment maintenance and upgrades, in addition to replacing one-third of the nuclear fuel in the 561-MW unit. 

“Hundreds-of-thousands of hours of work will be completed in the space of about a month,” said Scott Northard, Site Vice President, Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Xcel Energy. “Our priority is to work safely and work as a team to complete these activities that keep the plant running reliably, which is important to our customers.”

Several major projects will be undertaken to improve plant performance and meet regulatory requirements. The reactor coolant pump, feedwater pumps, cooling water pumps, motor generators, and DC panel will all be replaced.

Each of Prairie Island’s nuclear units operates on an 18-month refueling cycle, after which about a third of the fuel is replaced.

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