Prairie Island Unit 2 safely shuts down

A thunderstorm may have triggered a shutdown of Unit 2 of the Prairie Island nuclear plant near Red Wing.

Xcel Energy says the unit automatically tripped at 7:22 a.m. Monday and safely shut down. While operators are investigating the cause, Xcel says it appears to be weather-related. A thunderstorm was in the area when the unit’s generator tripped offline, resulting in the reactor shutdown.

The company says no one was hurt and no radioactive material was released.

Prairie Island’s Unit 1 already was shut down for a refueling outage that started on April 29. Xcel says Unit 1 remains in safe condition.

Unit 2 will be restarted as soon as operators confirm what caused the shutdown.