Xcel's Prairie Island unit down for maintenance

RED WING, Minn. -- One of the two units at Xcel Energy Inc.'s Prairie Island nuclear power plant near Red Wing is temporarily out of service.

Xcel says about 600 contractors are helping Prairie Island staff do maintenance tasks and replace one-third of the unit's fuel. Each of the two reactors at Prairie Island is refueled about once every 18 months. Unit 2 remains at full power.

The outage is expected to last four to six weeks.