Energy company: Minnesota leak fixed, plant to reopen soon

Published 6:56 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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MINNEAPOLIS — A faulty pipe that allowed water containing a radioactive isotope of hydrogen to leak at a Minnesota nuclear power plant has been repaired and the plant will return to service in the next week, a spokesman for the energy company said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a state agency said a fish kill that claimed at least 230 fish in the Mississippi River near Xcel Energy’s Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant was caused by a water temperature change resulting from the shutdown of the plant, not by any chemicals leaking into the river.

The nuclear plant, about 38 miles (60 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis, was fully powered down around 7 a.m. Saturday to fix the leaky pipe discovered last week, Xcel Energy spokesman Theo Keith said.

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“Crews have already repaired the leak, which did not pose any risks to public health, safety, or the environment,” Keith said in an email. “The pipe was confirmed as the only source of the leak.”

The plant will return to service “in the next week,” Keith said.