updated 1/18/2007 6:32:53 AM ET 2007-01-18T11:32:53

Four Northeast nuclear power plants have been alerted to check for potential safety problems following a failure at a sister plant here that caused a shutdown.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission notified managers of the four plants because they’re similar in age and design to the Xcel Energy’s Monticello plant, said Jan Strasma, a commission spokesman.

The plants being told to be alert are Vermont Yankee and Oyster Creek in New Jersey, Nine Mile Point in New York, and Pilgrim in Massachusetts.

“Typically when there’s a problem at one plant, we look to see if any aspects have the potential of applying to other plants,” Strasma said. “It’s a precautionary or prudent notification.”

The Monticello plant has been shut down since Jan. 10 when welds failed that held in place a 35,000-pound box containing valves that control steam pressure. No radiation was released, officials said.

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