Xcel's Prairie Island reactors pass renewal step
May 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Tuesday said it found no environmental reason that would preclude extending the operating life of Xcel Energy Inc's (XEL.N) two-unit Prairie Island nuclear station in Minnesota for an additional 20 years.
NRC staff issued the final supplemental environmental impact statement for renewal of the operating licenses for Prairie Island's Units 1 and 2, which expire Aug. 9, 2013 and Oct. 29, 2014, respectively.
Northern States Power Company, the operator of the plant, submitted an application to the NRC in April 2008 to extend the original 40-year licenses by 20 years.
If granted, the two units could operate until 2033 and 2034, respectively.
The NRC uses the renewal process to determine how an operator will manage the aging of a reactor. It is a two-step process, including safety and environmental reviews.
Factbox on license renewals: [ID:nN21295768] ---------------------------------------------------------- PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE STATE: Minnesota COUNTY: Goodhue TOWN: Red Wing about 55 miles (88 km) north of St Paul,
the state capital OPERATOR: Northern States Power OWNER(S): Xcel Inc UNIT(S): 1 - 551 MW Westinghouse pressurized water reactor
2 - 545 MW Westinghouse pressurized water reactor FUEL: Nuclear DISPATCH: Baseload TIMELINE: 1974 - Units 1 and 2 enter service 2008 - Xcel filed with the NRC to renew both 40-year
licenses for an additional 20 years Oct 2010 - NRC expects to decide on license renewals 2013 - Unit 1 operating license to expire, unit to retire
unless NRC renews license 2014 - Unit 2 operating license to expire, unit to retire
unless NRC renews license (Reporting by Soma Das in Bangalore; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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