Cumbria last week took the first steps towards volunteering to be the site of Britain's first underground nuclear dump, in return for a hefty government "bribe".
Its county council decided on Thursday to start talks about the implications of the deal with two local borough councils: Copeland, which has already made an "expression of interest" in hosting the dump, and Allerdale, which is expected to follow suit.
Earlier this month – as The Independent on Sunday exclusively predicted in January – ministers offered to pay councils to take in nuclear waste.
The Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn, said it was "only fair" to reward them for this "essential service to the nation".
A payment for the dump, which would take highly toxic intermediate and high-level waste, is expected to amount to at least £1bn.
Environmentalists denounce the scheme as "development by bribery".
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