"I’m concerned about the Xcel repair delay on a nuclear leak detector (“Xcel chided for nuclear plant lapse,” March 28). ... So why are we still focused on such a dangerous energy source? For that matter, why does the media instead fixate on the danger to birds from wind-generator blades? Why do most of us know nothing of the government being the main insurer for nuclear-power-related disasters?"
Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear power plant is getting extra inspections from the federal government, after a delay in repairing a radiation detector. A radiation detector in Prairie Island's Unit 1 stopped working in July 2011, and was not repaired for ten months.
The nuclear plant in Monticello is among those affected by an order from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission requiring 31 reactors similar to the ill-fated Fukushima plant in Japan to upgrade their ventilation systems.
"Prairie Island nuclear power plants Unit 1 reactor is producing electricity again after completing a scheduled maintenance and refueling outage, Xcel Energy said Wednesday, Jan. 9. The reactor, which was taken out of operation on Oct. 23, returned to full power Tuesday at 9:32 p.m., Minneapolis-based Xcel said. Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant has twin 550-megawatt reactors that take turns refueling about once every 18 months."
"The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, in a ruling released Friday, said the Indian tribe living next to Xcel's Prairie Island nuclear power plant and waste-storage site has raised several contentions about the license extension that warrant a hearing before the board's three-judge panel.
A core issue -- whether the "temporary" cask storage is becoming permanent -- was set aside by the panel while its parent agency, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, studies the problem across the nation. A federal appeals court in June struck down the commission's waste storage rules, forcing another look at the implications of keeping radioactive waste at reactor sites for up to 60 years."
"MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Xcel Energy has been granted an interim rate hike that will have the average residential customer paying $8 more per month starting in January... Xcel says the increase is necessary to recover investments in its two nuclear plants."
More than 20 years after a major study said there is no evidence that people who live near nuclear power plants face an increased risk of dying from cancer, the federal government will look anew at the subject, starting with seven nuclear facilities from Connecticut to California.
All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives.
"The federal government began collecting a fee from utilities and ratepayers in 1982 for the purpose of developing a long-talked about nuclear waste storehouse. But, despite collecting hundreds of millions of dollars per year over three decades, plans for a geologic facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada have stalled.
“It’s now 2013,” Atkins said. “They haven’t made any progress.”
The bill would also seek to recover nearly $700 million in fees paid by Minnesota ratepayers if the commerce commissioner deems there is not adequate movement toward finding a nuclear waste storage solution.
“We’re pretty concerned (the federal government) have not fulfilled their obligation,” said Terry Pickens, Xcel Energy’s director of nuclear regulatory policy."
Cold fusion is about creating nuclear reactions at room temperature. What are the radiation and waste issues? Where would, or are, "tests" of the research taking place? Are there any risks to human safety from such testing?
"Thirty years ago this week the Nuclear Waste Policy Act became law, committing the federal government to finding a permanent storage facility for the nation's nuclear waste. The Prairie Island Indian Community took out a full-page advertisement in the Star Tribune to commemorate the anniversary — but not in celebration."
"A federal panel plans more scrutiny over Xcel Energy's request for a 40-year extension of its license for a nuclear waste storage facility near Red Wing... Minneapolis-based Xcel stores spent fuel rods in 29 casks next to its power plant. Up to 64 casks ultimately may be needed.The casks originally were planned as a temporary site but likely will remain in Minnesota for decades because the federal government hasn’t built a permanent storage site."
"On October 20, 2009 at 0316 hours, the Division 2 120Vac Class IE lnverter was removed from service and supported loads supplied by the maintenance bypass source. Removing the lnverter from service caused the High Pressure Coolant Injection system to be inoperable. Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant (MNGP) engineering confirmed the condition through a past operability review that was completed on October 8, 2012"
Xcel officials said the biggest factor driving the rate request is the $114 million the utility is spending to keep its two Minnesota nuclear power plants operating and boosting the output at one of them. But the No. 2 reason is that electricity sales have fallen nearly 4 percent since its 2011 rate hike.
With less revenue coming in, Xcel wants everyone to pay more to cover costs
"Radiation network websight showed a spike in radiation in minnesota for a couple of minutes up to 101CPM then went back down. raditaion in the area seems to be fluctuating quite a bit. Moments after it went down to 30 cmp and is currently back up to 80 cpm. What is causing the large deviation in radiation in that area?"