Prairie Island nuclear plant offline after fire alarm goes off

Operators of the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant in Red Wing, Minnesota, declared a Notification of Unusual Event Thursday after a fire alarm sounded in the Unit 2 containment building.

Although there was no indication of a fire on site, plant personnel are taking standard actions to remove the unit from service to further investigate while remaining in a state of readiness for any required emergency response.

A Notification of Unusual Event is the lowest of four emergency classifications established by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and indicates a potential reduction in the level of safety at the plant, but no threat to public safety.

The entire plant is being shut down during the investigation, and there were no indications that any radioactive materials were released.

One of two nuclear power plants in Minnesota, Prairie Island began operations in 1973. The generating station has two nuclear reactors manufactured by Westinghouse that produce a collective 1,076 megawatts of power. Units 1 and 2 are licensed to operate through 2033 and 2034.

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U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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