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Xcel ends outage at Prairie Island nuclear plant

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RED WING, Minn. -- The Prairie Island nuclear plant returned to full power at 2 a.m. Monday, wrapping up a project that brought hundreds of extra employees to the area.

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Two new steam generators were installed during a refueling and maintenance outage that began Sept. 21, Xcel Energy said Monday. A third of the fuel rods were replaced, along with Unit 2’s 40-year-old steam generators.

About 1,500 contractors were brought in, along with regular staff, to help complete the work.

The generators were manufactured in France and made a months-long trek to the plant in Red Wing. They were shipped to New Orleans via ocean vessel, then loaded onto a river barge to travel up the Mississippi River.

The steam generators in Unit 1 were replaced in 2004.

Unit 1 remained online throughout the most recent outage. Xcel crews brought Unit 2 back online gradually as the work ended.

Each of the two 550-megawatt reactors at Prairie Island is refueled about every 18 months. The other unit typically remains at full power.

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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