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Nuclear plant's Unit 2 shuts down unexpectedly

Operators at Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant today were investigating a turbine trip that caused an automatic shutdown of Unit 2 early this morning.

The reactor was being returned to full power following completion of a refueling outage, which ended early Monday morning.

The reactor was at approximately 32 percent power when the turbine tripped at 3:14 a.m. today, causing the reactor to automatically shut down, as it designed to do.

The cause of the turbine trip is being investigated. There were no injuries and no radiological release as the result of the shutdown, according to Xcel Energy, which owns and operates the plant.

There is no threat to the public, and the event did not meet any emergency plan classification criteria, officials said in a press release.

Prairie Island Unit 1 was unaffected and continues to operate at 100 percent power. Each unit provides about 550 megawatts of power.

Unit 2 was in a refueling and maintenance outage from April 17 until 6:36 a.m. Monday.

Unit 2 also unexpectedly shut down when operators were preparing to take it offline to start refueling.