New councillors appointed to Copeland council’s nuclear panel will receive their first briefing early next month.

The Strategic Nuclear Energy team is one of the authority’s most important committees, working with the Government and companies including Sellafield.

The first meeting since borough council elections will be held on Tuesday, June 4 and will see members given an overview of the roles and responsibilities of the committee.

Members will be discussing some huge issues in the coming months including the Government’s search for a host community for a nuclear waste store.

Anyone with a reasonably-sized patch of land can volunteer it as a contender for the multi-million Geological Disposal Facility (GDF), effectively kick-starting the process.

West Cumbria has also been rocked in recent months by the collapse of the Moorside nuclear investment deal, while Sellafield is moving into the decommissioning phase.

Coun David Moore, portfolio holder for Nuclear and Corporate Services, said the briefing would be an opportunity for councillors who have not worked on the panel before or were completely new to local politics to get to grip with the scope of the committee’s important work.

He added: “Some of the councillors who will be there are first-time councillors, just about to dip a toe in the water. This meeting them will give them an overview and it will be a learning curve for them.

“We are key players in nuclear consultations. Not many councils have an equivalent of our committee. I have no equivalent to my role as nuclear portfolio-holder.”