Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant begins refueling outage
After 500 days of continuous operation, the Monticello Nuclear Generating Plant began its 28th biennial refueling outage April 14, Xcel Energy reported in a news release this morning.
The outage includes fuel replacement, maintenance, inspection, and testing activities that will result in improved equipment and plant reliability.
This work will help ensure that Monticello continues to provide safe, clean reliable power and provide economic stimulus, grid reliability and environmental benefits for the region, the news release stated.
The work brings 800 contractors from across the country to Monticello for approximately one month, boosting the local economy.
More than 6,000 work activities will be performed by Xcel Energy employees and the contracted workforce, the company reported.
The power plant will be refueled which will replace more than 4 million fuel pellets arranged in 13,468 fuel rods.
The fuel rods are built into 148 fuel assemblies within the reactor core. A large number of safety inspections will also be conducted on the unit’s reactor vessel and turbine generator system.
The Monticello plant is the area’s largest employer with approximately 600 full-time workers.
According to a newly released study by the Nuclear Energy Institute, the plant generates about $447 million in overall economic activity and $96 million in disposable income each year for workers in Minnesota.
The additional work force, local suppliers and service providers required for this period demonstrates the economic value the nuclear facility brings to the region.