(Photo by nrc.gov)

Entergy is facing a huge fine after federal regulators say the control operators at one of their plants were negligent in their work. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says Entergy is being fined $140,000 after control operators at their River Bend nuclear power plant in St. Francisville spent long hours browsing the Internet while they should have been monitoring the reactor.

Entergy spokesperson Katie Damratoski says the company self-reported the mis-conduct to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC says it happened in early 2010. None of the websites that the nine operators at the power plant browsed while using a control room computer were adult websites. Entergy was fined for not reporting the infractions sooner.

Damratoski says there was never any danger to the public. Damratoski says Entergy is deciding whether to pay the federal fine, or appeal it. She says the NRC should recognize that Entergy discovered the problem, reported it and took steps to prevent any recurrence.