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Fire Alarm At Eastern Minnesota Nuclear Plant Likely False, Officials Say

Warning Early Thursday Led To Partial Shutdown

Jonathunder/Wikimedia Commons

A fire alarm has led to a partial shutdown of a nuclear power plant along the Mississippi River near Red Wing, Minnesota but plant officials suspect a false alarm and say there’s no danger to the public.

At 4 a.m. Thursday morning, a fire alarm sounded at the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant. The alarm was in the containment building that houses one of the plants reactors. Scott Northard, vice president for licensing at Xcel Energy, said other sensors in the building suggest it was a false alarm.

“What we believed happened is some hot water leaked into a floor drain and the steam or the water vapor from the hot water set off the fire alarm. And we will be validating that,” he said.

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Northard added that it took three hours to shut down the reactor. They’re in the process of making sure it’s safe for technicians to enter and assess what happened. It’s unclear if repairs are needed.

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