Nuclear site Sellafield has produced a roadmap outlining how it plans to return towards normal life over the next six months, following significant disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The plans outline how another 2,000 people are to be returned to the site by September, bringing the total number on site to about 4,000.

It it hoped that a further 500 will be added to that total number later in 2020.

On a normal working day, there would be about 8,000 people working on the Sellafield site.

Many of those currently not on the Sellafield site are working remotely.

It is hoped that by the end of the year, about 2,400 of those involved in the Sellafield supply chain will be back on site each day.

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, about 2,700 contractors worked on the site each day.

A spokesman for Sellafield said of the increase in supply chain staff: "This will be vital for safeguarding specialist nuclear skills built up over many years and protecting the local economy."

In the coming months, it is hoped that work can restart on what is referred to as the "last lap" of the Magnox reprocessing plant.

This will involve reducing the final one per cent - 538 tonnes - of fuel left since reprocessing operations began in 1964.

To do this, supporting plants, laboratories and the Sellafield site railway network will need to be reopened.

It is also an aim to restart demolition work on the Windscale Pile Chimney, as well as a number of other demolition, engineering and maintainance works.

Bosses have stressed that each decision taken with regards to restarting work at Sellafield has been taken with Government and Public Health England guidelines in mind.

Sellafield's six-month roadmap also allows for work to be paused or accelerated, depending on the changing circumstances.

Chief operating officer Rebecca Weston said: "In this plan we have to think flexibly and be prepared for things to change again. But right now, we have analysed what work we expect to be able to safely carry out over the next 6 months and this is our ambition.

"We are still keeping close controls on who can return to work in order to keep people safe. Thousands of people working for Sellafield Ltd and our supply chain will continue to work remotely where it is feasible for them to do so.

"Restarting Magnox reprocessing and ramping up other hazard and risk reduction work will be a huge step forward in our recovery plan and returning to the ‘new normal’.

"Maintaining a safe and secure site is a nationally important mission everyone is behind and I’d like to thank each and every person who is continuing to work through the crisis and looking out for others."