NRC proposes fine against nuclear power plant

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has proposed a $140,000 civil penalty against Entergy Operations Inc., a subsidiary of Entergy (NYSE: ETR), at the 978 MW River Bend Station, for control room operators accessing the internet without authorization and failure by the utility to take timely corrective actions once the issue was identified.

The NRC said control room operators are directly responsible for monitoring the reactor and other important plant systems to ensure that it is operated safely. Plant procedures require operators to remain attentive and focused on their work.

Between January and April 2010, NRC said nine operators deliberately violated those procedures and accessed the internet from the plant’s control room while on duty. Three of the nine did so with such frequency and duration that they are being issued severity level III enforcement violations. The remaining six operators will receive severity level IV violations. The websites visited included news, sports, fishing and retirement account sites. The plant will receive a severity level III violation and a fine double the base civil penalty of $70,000. Severity level I represents the greatest significance and Severity level IV is the lowest level.

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