A state administrative judge has ruled in favor of Xcel Energy, saying the company should be able to expand the amount of energy it produces on the Prairie Island nuclear power plant near Red Wing.
Xcel is asking the Public Utilities Commission for permission to extend its operating permit, increase the amount of power it generates and store more spent nuclear fuel on site.
In his 88-page report, Administrative Law Judge Richard C. Luis said Xcel's proposal meets the criteria for granting the additional storage space and power upgrades.
Prairie Island's two reactors supply one-fifth of the power for Xcel's customers, enough for about 750,000 homes.
There are already 24 dry casks storing spent nuclear fuel on a concrete pad outside the plant. Xcel wants to add another 35 canisters.
The recommendations will be made to the Public Utilities Commission, which has the ultimate authority. The PUC's next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 12.
Note: Due to a reporter's error, Judge Richard C. Luis's name was misspelled in an earlier version of this story.