A national nuclear laboratory is to be based near Preston.

The £2bn energy masterplan will benefit Preston with the new research laboratory to be based at the Springfields site in Salwick near the city.

The Government's West Cumbria energy plans, which will transform the coastline into a energy coast and provide a new nuclear reactor at Sellafield.

Government Business Secretary John Hutton revealed the proposals on Wednesday.

Springfields was the first plant in the world to make nuclear fuel and to date has produced several million fuel elements and provided products and services for over 140 reactors in more than 12 countries.

In November 1999, following the acquisition of Westinghouse by BNFL and their American partners, Morrison Knudsen, Springfields became the UK Fuel Business of the Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel Business Unit.