PM backtracks on being open to nuclear

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he'd be open to nuclear power if the sector paid its own way. (AAP)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he hasn't ruled out nuclear power, but the industry would have to stand up economically and not rely on the government.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he would be open to nuclear power if it can "pay its own way" and doesn't need government support.

"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?"

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.

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