SELLAFIELD is investigating around 100 workers after it emerged scores were clocking off hours early.

Bosses at the high-security site were alerted to the practice when a power dip caused an alarm to trigger in one of the facilities and some employees expected to be there appeared to have left early.

A Sellafield Ltd spokesman said: “We are undertaking an investigation into time-booking irregularities within our waste treatment facilities.

“This investigation is ongoing. Once complete, appropriate action will be taken to address any issues raised."

The incident that triggered the investigation happened in November, but Sellafield bosses do not know how long the practice has been ongoing.

It is alleged workers were leaving early and not concluding their contracted shifts.

The plants where the investigation is being carried out are the Waste Treatment Complex, Waste Management and Compaction Facility and the Engineered Drum Stores.

Sellafield Ltd has insisted the safety of other workers and the wider community was not affected.

A spokesman for the company said: "There were no safety implications. These buildings are not required to be manned when they are not in operation.

"Meanwhile, we are reminding all of our employees of their obligation to work their contracted hours."

No action has been taken against staff at this stage, but Sellafield is reviewing logs to ascertain which employees were dodging their full shift.

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison said: "This is a highly regulated environment and I am pleased to see that appropriate measures are being taken to investigate."

It is not known how long Sellafield's investigation is expected to take.