Sellafield announces 500 jobs to accelerate clean-up
The Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant is taking on 500 new staff to boost the decommissioning of the site.
The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) said the move would accelerate the clean-up of the west Cumbria facility's "most hazardous areas".
Sellafield, along with other ageing UK nuclear sites, is being decommissioned ahead of a planned investment in new power stations.
The clean-up process is due to be completed by the end of the decade.
The NDA said the bulk of the new jobs would be filled locally, with 50 going to apprentices.
Chief executive John Clarke said: "The creation of these 500 new jobs is excellent news for west Cumbria and will make a significant contribution to accelerating the clean-up of the high hazard areas of Sellafield - the NDA's number one priority."
Energy Minister John Hayes welcomed the news, adding: "The announcement of 500 jobs at Sellafield shows the immense contribution of the nuclear sector to the UK economy, in particular that of west Cumbria."
Copeland MP Jamie Reed said the jobs would help re-establish west Cumbria as a centre for "nuclear excellence".
A recent National Audit Office report criticised overspending on decommissioning projects and claimed some of Sellafield's storage buildings were "run-down".
Inspectors found some of the older buildings on site posed a risk to the environment.
The Sellafield site currently employs about 10,000 people.