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Monticello plant will move spent nuclear fuel outside

MONTICELLO, Minn. -- Months of planning at the Monticello nuclear plant will be put into practice when spent nuclear fuel is moved from an indoor pool to new above-ground storage.

The Prairie Island nuclear plant in Red Wing already uses outdoor dry-cask storage.

The Monticello casks will go into concrete storage modules. The storage area is surrounded by two chain-link fences and monitored by cameras and other security devices.

Moving the spent fuel will allow Xcel Energy to continue operating the plant for another 30 years, project manager Mark McKeown said. The first storage module will be loaded sometime between August and October, he added.