Xcel Energy Appoints Chief Nuclear Officer

Xcel Energy announced Wednesday that it will allow its interim chief nuclear officer to make the job permanent.

Tim O'Connor has served in the post of acting CNO since September, overseeing the Prairie Island and Monticello nuclear plants. He began working with Xcel at the latter, joining its leadership in 2007 as site vice president.

Tim O'Connor. Source: Xcel Energy“Tim has done a great job in the acting CNO role and has a solid plan for moving nuclear operations and safety performance in a continued positive direction,” said Xcel CEO Ben Fowke.

Xcel operates three reactors at the plants, both near Minneapolis. It is a mixed fleet: According to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the units at Prairie Island are Westinghouse pressurized water reactors, while Monticello is a GE boiling water reactor. They produce about 30 percent of the power Xcel supplies to the upper Midwest, according to the company.

O'Connor's experience covers 30 years in the nuclear power industry, according to his Xcel biography. He's previously held leadership positions at Nine Mile Point, Hope Creek, Salem, LaSalle, Dresden and Zion. He earned a mechanical engineering degree from Marquette University.

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