May 17, 2011 / 3:03 PM / in 7 years

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]
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
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

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