Clean-up work at Sellafield is being held up as a shining beacon of nuclear decommissioning across the world.

The techniques and technologies used at the west Cumbrian plant were witnessed by Japanese nuclear industry experts during a visit to UK.

Representatives from the Japan Atomic Energy Authority (JAEA) visited Sellafield to learn more about their nuclear decommissioning and hazard reduction programmes.

They also visited the Dounreay nuclear site in northern Scotland.

The aim was to find out if the UK’s nuclear innovation could be used at sites in Japan facing similar challenges.

Sellafield, which has been at the forefront of the UK’s nuclear industry for several decades, is now making significant progress in cleaning up the legacy from the earliest days of nuclear.

Dr Adrian Simper, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's strategy and technology director, said: “These visits are an important part of the work being done by the NDA, its subsidiary International Nuclear Services, and the Department for International Trade to highlight the UK’s nuclear decommissioning expertise to overseas customers.

“The work being done on the NDA sites is pioneering the way nuclear facilities are decommissioned all over the world and showcases the unique expertise that is on offer within the UK’s nuclear supply chain.”

Cockermouth-based Createc recently won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for its work on nuclear decommissioning projects in Japan and the United States.

Createc produced radiation mapping equipment, developed for use at Sellafield, which has gone on to be used at Japan's Fukushima reactor which was damaged in a nuclear incident seven years ago.

Dounreay, in Caithness, is the former centre of fast reactor research and development. It is one of the UK’s most complex nuclear decommissioning projects.