Nuke power

Coalition leader Peter Dutton proposed seven sites across Australia to set up nuclear power plants by 2035-2040, which would be owned by the federal government.

The sites where the nuclear power plants would be built are Tarong and Callide in Queensland, Mount Piper and Liddell in New South Wales, Collie in Western Australia, Loy Yang in Victoria, and the Northern power station in South Australia, The Guardian reported.

Dutton stressed that the seven plants would be built and owned by the government, but avoided answering how much the Australian taxpayer would have to shell out. Instead, he said it would "cost a fraction" of Labor's power plans, adding that the cost would be released "in due course."

Blasting the opposition's "nuclear fantasy," Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said it did not make economic sense as Australia had the best "renewable energy potential," AAP reported.

"It'll be a taxpayer funded nuclear fantasy," Albanese told ABC radio. "Here in Australia, we have the best solar resources in the world. "This makes no economic sense, as well as leaving us in a position of energy insecurity because of the time that it will take to roll out a nuclear reactor."

The sites located in Coalition-held electorates have been chosen for water availability, connection to the grid and the closure date of existing coal power plants. As the sites were held by private ownership now, Dutton said they would be acquired by the government for setting up the power plants.

On the energy sources during the interim period while the construction of nuclear power plants is in progress, Dutton said, "The seven locations can host new nuclear sites and that'll be part of an energy mix with renewables and significant amounts of gas ... particularly in the interim period. During the construction of nuclear power plants, would utilize the existing distribution networks when coal power plants reach the end of their life."

The Opposition leader said two plants would be completed by 2035-37 and the remaining five would be built in the 2040s were "achievable" and a "sensible rollout."

Power stations suggested to be built in Western and South Australia could be "small modular reactor (SMR) only," and they are reportedly not commercially viable.

CSIRO had warned against completing an SMR as quickly as 2038. Though cheaper and quicker to build, no SMR projects have been completed globally yet.

Dutton will have to counter a long battle on his plans to go nuclear, as it means lifting current bans on the energy source and confronting the states, because several politicians have refused to permit atomic plants in their jurisdictions.

NSW Premier Chris Minns and leader of the Queensland Liberal National party David Crisafulli stated they would not repeal the nuclear prohibition in their states.

"If all of a sudden you were to introduce nuclear power, that investment is at real risk," Minns told reporters. "It costs a lot of money and second, it takes a lot of time and we don't have a day to wait."

In May, CSIRO and the Australian Energy Market Operator released the GenCost report, which put the cost of building a large-scale nuclear power plant to be at least $8.5 billion.