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Reuters, Published July 10 2013

Xcel to restart Monticello reactor this week

Xcel Energy Inc. said Wednesday it expects to begin startup activities at the 554-megawatt Monticello nuclear power reactor in Minnesota later this week.

The plant was in the final testing phase and startup should begin later this week, Thomas Hoen, a spokesman for the plant, told Reuters.

The unit shut in early March for refueling and a power uprate expected to add about 71 MW to the plant's capacity. The company has said that uprate would cost about $135 million.

One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.

To get that extra generation, the company has installed two new feedwater heaters, put two new transformers in service, replaced two condensate pumps and added larger feed pumps and motors, among other things, Hoen said.