NRC Cites Xcel Energy For Prairie Island Problem

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has cited Xcel Energy for a safety problem involving battery chargers for its Unit 1 reactor at the Prairie Island nuclear plant.

The devices charge batteries that provide backup power for safety equipment. Under certain conditions, the old chargers could lock up. They’ve since been replaced.

NRC staff rated the violation as “white” on a color-coded scale, meaning low to moderate safety significance. Xcel Energy had argued for a “green,” rating, meaning very low significance.

In a final finding issued Wednesday, the NRC stuck with a “white” rating, which means the plant will undergo closer inspections to ensure the problem has been solved. The utility will not be fined.

Xcel Energy has until Sept. 16 to appeal. The company says it’s reviewing the NRC decision.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • M B

    Oh, goody…. Another bogus excuse for Xcel to try to raise our power rates next year: “Ongoing equipment replacement costs.”

    Whoever OKd the merger of Xcel and NSP needs to be taken out back of the shed and slapped silly. They haven’t done anything better than NSP. I hear employees aren’t happy either. Xcel has only been instituting more and more “fees,” charges and rate hikes on us and even with all that money are now apparently failing to maintain critical machinery.

    But I bet the execs are still getting their huge salaries…

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