• Updated: September 25, 2012 – 6:49 PM

Xcel Energy Inc. said plant operators were investigating the automatic shutdown at 11:07 a.m. Tuesday of the Monticello nuclear power plant.

The Minneapolis-based utility said plant safety systems functioned as designed, and the situation posed no danger to the public or plant workers.

Xcel said that the shutdown is not expected to be lengthy and that the utility would purchase replacement power from the Midwest power grid. The 600-megawatt plant is 40 miles northwest of the Twin Cities and generates enough electricity for 500,000 homes.

In August, the Monticello plant was shut down for several days as workers repaired a leaking gasket on a pipe flange inside the plant’s containment structure, according to Xcel.

Courtesy of http://www.startribune.com