In October, while Xcel Energy’s Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant’s reactor 2 was out for refueling, there was an outage at reactor 2 that shut down that unit also for months. It was shut down for so long that the Mississippi River FROZE! Here’s the scoop on that outage that I’d not gotten around to posting.

The real cause of Xcel’s lengthy Prairie Island nuclear outage: Workers drilled through cables

The company said it did not use ground radar that would have shown where the underground cables were in the Red Wing plant and admitted its excavation planning and oversight was inadequate. 

By Walker Orenstein Star Tribune April 12, 2024 — 8:02am

Xcel Energy initially pinpointed the cause of a lengthy outage at its Prairie Island nuclear power plant as an equipment issue between the turbine and the electric grid.

But that didn’t quite tell the full story: Xcel workers at the plant actually cut a bundle of power cables when drilling sideways underground in October, interrupting power to some of the Red Wing plant’s equipment and causing one of the two reactors to shut down.

Xcel told federal nuclear regulators last month it did not use ground radar in an area that would have shown the cables’ location. The company also said its excavation planning and oversight was inadequate, admitting to “procedural weaknesses and poor communications” between departments.


Now they say “evacuation planning and oversight was inadequate.”

Remember when the Red Wing City Council approved Xcel’s PINGP Emergency Plan in a consent agenda vote?

How are the inadequacies going to be corrected?

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