Court rejects challenge to Prairie Island upgrades

St. Paul, Minnesota (AP) November 2010

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected a challenge to Xcel Energy’s plans to upgrade its Prairie Island nuclear power plant.

Xcel is seeking to increase the power output of the plant and add to its spent fuel storage facilities there.

But the Prairie Island Indian Community and City of Red Wing challenged the proposed upgrades at the plant, which is next to the reservation and near the city.

Last week, the appeals court affirmed the Public Utilities Commission’s approval of the upgrades.

Xcel Energy plans to spend $600 million to add 164 megawatts to the plant’s output, and would need to add to its dry cask spent fuel storage there. The plan still requires federal approval.