AN ANTI-nuclear comic 'novel' sent to Cumbrian councillors as an ebook could now be studied by some of Britain's top academics.

HOT, written and illustrated by Radiation Free Lakeland campaigner Marianne Birkby, has been "claimed" for a number of university and national libraries under a long-established bibliographic law.

The claim was made on behalf of institutions known as Legal Deposit Libraries - the Bodleian Library Oxford University, The Cambridge University Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales and Trinity College Dublin.

HOT is the fourth book in the Chronicles of Wastwater series, following The Wastwater Gnomes, When the Water Flows and Swallows and Amazons For You For Life.

The book continues the journey of a retired farming couple, Tom and Ellen, who are trying to make sense of a Government plan to store nuclear waste in caverns under their land. One of the images in the book is of former council leader Eddie Martin who is depicted as heroic Superman following the Cumbria County Council's vote to oppose the waste dump plan.

Milnthorpe-based Mrs Birkby, a wildlife artist, said: "The university and national libraries are each entitled to delivery, free of charge, of one copy of every publication that they request a claim for.

"Not all publications are claimed by the libraries, but the obligation has existed in English law for all printed books and papers since 1662 and for electronic and other non-print publications since April 2013."

The Agency for Legal Deposit Libraries said claiming copies of a book helped to "ensure that the nation's published output, and thereby its intellectual record and future published heritage, is collected systematically, both in order to preserve the material for the use of future generations and to make it available for readers within the designated deposit libraries".

But the initial request for five printed copies of her book left Mrs Birkby with a financial headache - they had to be given free of charge.

However, a Radiation Free Lakeland supporter offered to sponsor the £100 cost of the books so the protest group would not be left out of pocket.