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NRC Inspecting Monticello Nuclear Power Plant

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(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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MONTICELLO, Minn. (AP) – The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is conducting a special inspection of the Monticello nuclear power plant.

That’s after Xcel Energy discovered blockage in part of the fire protection sprinkler system located outside of the reactor building.

Xcel discovered the problem during testing and reported it to the NRC on Sept. 2. The piping supplies water from the Mississippi River to the sprinkler system in case of a fire in the building.

Xcel says it assigned a staff member to constantly monitor the intake structure and is using an alternate line for sprinkler system water. The company also is cleaning the sprinkler system piping and expects to restore the system to service by the end of this week.

Both the NRC and Xcel say there is no immediate safety concern.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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