Copeland Borough Council voted in favour of remaining in the process to identify a host community for a geological disposal facility. However, it has previously been agreed that parties at both Borough and County level needed to vote positively in order for the process to continue.

The UK government will now embark on a "renewed drive" to ensure that the case for hosting a GDF is drawn to the attention of communities, and to encourage further local authorities to come forward to join the process, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said in a statement.

"For any host community there will be a substantial community benefits package, worth hundreds of millions of pounds. That is in addition to the hundreds of jobs and major investment that such a huge infrastructure project could bring," said UK secretary for energy and climate change Edward Davey.

Davey added that the government remains "firmly committed" to geological disposal as the right policy for the long-term, safe and secure management of radioactive waste.