Federal regulators will be in the Twin Cities this week concerning the Prairie Island nuclear plant's effort to have its license renewed and a challenge to that renewal by the Prairie Island Indian Community.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board will hear oral arguments Wednesday in Hastings regarding the application for a license renewal for an additional 20 years of operation at the Xcel Energy plant near Red Wing.

The Indian community has voiced concerns about safety and Xcel's large waste storage plans near Red Wing.

Tribal Council President Ron Johnson said the plant is too old and that after 40 years, certain equipment may not adequately handle upgrades and expansions.

The current operating licenses for Prairie Island are due to expire on Aug. 9, 2013, for Unit 1 and Oct. 29, 2014, for Unit 2.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482