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'Unusual event' at Minnesota reactor

March 6, 2012 at 2:26 PM

WELCH, Minn., March 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Tuesday declared an "unusual event" due to coolant leakage in the Prairie Island Unit 2 reactor in Minnesota.

"The declaration was made due to an indication of an increase in reactor coolant system leakage," the NRC said in a statement. No radiation was released and the plant is maintaining the appropriate water level in the reactor, the NRC said.

The "unusual event, declared at 6:24 a.m., is the lowest emergency level declaration made by the agency.

Two NRC inspectors were monitoring reactor, which is currently shut down for refueling. Unit 1 at the power plant is operating at full power, The (Redwing) Republican Eagle said.

The two-unit nuclear power station -- in Welch, 26 miles southeast of Minneapolis -- is owned and operated by Northern States' Power Co., a unit of Xcel Energy.

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