PM backtracks on being open to nuclear

PM Scott Morrison earlier said he'd be open to nuclear power if the sector paid its own way.
PM Scott Morrison earlier said he'd be open to nuclear power if the sector paid its own way.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he has no plans to reverse a ban on nuclear energy, despite earlier saying he was open to the industry if it could "pay its way".

"It's not, not on the agenda ... but it's got to be self-sustaining," he told Tasmania Talks LAFM on Thursday.

"I'm not going to roll out tens of billions of dollars in subsidies, that's not the future for energy efficiencies."

Labor's environment spokesman Tony Burke took the chance to remind Mr Morrison nuclear power is against the law.

"It is extraordinary that Scott Morrison is now contemplating changing the law to allow nuclear power stations in Australia," he said.

Mr Burke said Jervis Bay, Townsville, Bribie Island and Mackay have all been flagged as locations for nuclear power.

"Where is Morrison proposing to put his nuclear power plants? Which coastal community is under threat?"

But the prime minister later on Thursday took to Twitter to step away from his earlier comment

"This is not our policy and we have no plans to change that," he tweeted.

Defence Minister Christopher Pyne last month said he wished Australia had established a nuclear energy industry in the 1950s, but admitted he couldn't see it happening in the future.

Australian Associated Press