CUMBRIA'S nuclear site has denied accusations made in a national newspaper that it has been hacked by groups linked to Russia and China.

In an article published today, December 4, the Guardian newspaper claimed Sellafield has been hacked into by cyber groups closely linked to authoritarian regimes.

The site has denied the allegations made in the piece, saying there is 'no records or evidence' to support the paper's claims of successful attacks on the network at the site.

It added that there is a 'high degree of confidence' at the site that no malware as described in the Guardian article exists in its system.

The claims emerged as part of Nuclear Leaks, a year-long Guardian investigation into what the paper describes as 'cyber hacking, radioactive contamination and toxic workplace culture at Sellafield'.

The Guardian says it has discovered that the 'authorities do not know exactly when the IT systems were first compromised'.

"But sources said breaches were first detected as far back as 2015, when experts realised sleeper malware – software that can lurk and be used to spy or attack systems – had been embedded in Sellafield’s computer networks," the newspaper reported.

The Guardian also made claims that the site was last year placed into a form of 'special measures' for consistent failings on cybersecurity, according to sources at the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) and the security services.

A Sellafield spokesman said: “We have no records or evidence to suggest that Sellafield Ltd networks have been successfully attacked by state-actors in the way described by the Guardian.

“Our monitoring systems are robust and we have a high degree of confidence that no such malware exists on our system.

“We take cyber security extremely seriously at Sellafield. All of our systems and servers have multiple layers of protection.

“Critical networks that enable us to operate safely are isolated from our general IT network, meaning an attack on our IT system would not penetrate these.”