A MAYOR has paid tribute to a nuclear site boss following his decision to step down.

Mike Starkie, the Mayor of Copeland, has made a statement following the announcement that Sellafield Ltd's CEO Paul Foster will step down from the role.

Mr Starkie: "Paul’s commitment to our industry and site mission has been matched by his absolute vision for Sellafield as part of a transformed West Cumbrian economy.

"Paul has faced some huge challenges at Sellafield Ltd head on, and with my absolute confidence in his ability and leadership, and I am saddened that he is leaving."

Mr Starkie went on to praise the 'strong' relationship between the Copeland Council and Sellafield.

"The relationship between Sellafield Ltd and Copeland Council has never been stronger than it has been on Paul’s watch", he said.

"He is deeply committed to the place and that is highly valued by many, but none more so than me."

A senior executive at the Sellafield site since 2000, Paul became Managing Director then the first Chief Executive of Sellafield Ltd in 2016.

Mr Foster oversaw the introduction of new terms and conditions across Sellafield Ltd and successfully managed the completion of nuclear fuel reprocessing at Thorp.

Mr Foster said: "It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the first Chief Executive of Sellafield Ltd.

"I have had the pleasure to work alongside some remarkable people on a mission of acute national importance and together, we have ensured that more progress than ever before is being made at Sellafield..

"Five years is a significant amount of time to spend as Chief Executive in any organisation. It is the right time to seek a new challenge."