Native News Network Staff in Native Challenges. Discussion »
WELCH, MINNESOTA The Prairie Island Indian Community issued the following statement from Tribal Council President Johnny Johnson in response to the forced shutdown of one of two reactors at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. According to Xcel Energy, operators at the plant were forced to shut down Unit 1 early on Wednesday morning when two diesel generators were determined to be inoperable during a monthly test. The unit is being shut down until the generators can be repaired. These generators are part of the safety systems in place to help maintain plant function in the event of a loss of offsite electricity.
Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant was Shutdown for
Failing Safety Equiptment
“The Prairie Island Indian Community is monitoring today's events closely,”
said Tribal Council President Johnny Johnson.
“We have been in touch with both the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Xcel Energy and have been assured that today's forced shutdown of the Unit One reactor is not expected to result in any radiation releases.”
"Despite these assurances, today's unplanned shutdown - and the unusual white steam clouds released throughout the day during the reactor shutdown - are ominous reminders of the fact that the 40-year old Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant operating a half-mile from our homes relies on aging technology.
"In fact, over the past couple of years, there have been more than 30 reported incidents like failing equipment, security breaches, human performance problems and operating errors. Just last summer, Xcel experienced problems when back-up generators were simply declared inoperable due to high external air temperatures. Today, however, the generators actually failed while operating during a monthly test."
photo credit Jonathunder; posted August 16, 2012 7:50 am edt