Our plan for zero-emissions nuclear energy

How will we get started?

On coming to government, the Coalition will lift the moratorium on nuclear technology and establish a civil nuclear programme in Australia.  

Zero-emissions nuclear plants will be owned by the Federal Government and we will form partnerships with the most experienced nuclear companies in the world to develop and operate the plants.

Our zero-emissions nuclear energy programme will consist of two phases: starting with two establishment projects in the mid 2030s followed by a buildout of projects though to 2050.

A Federal Coalition Government will initially develop two establishment projects using either small modular reactors or modern larger plants such as the AP1000 or APR1400. They will start producing electricity by 2035 (with small modular reactors) or 2037 (if modern larger plants are found to be the best option).

Community Benefits

All Australians will benefit from the Coalition’s balanced energy mix of renewables + gas + nuclear to replace Labor’s expensive and failing all-eggs-in-one-basket renewables only approach. Shifting to nuclear will keep an always-on source of 24/7 baseload power in the system to drive prices down and keep the lights on while we decarbonise.

However, introducing zero-emissions nuclear energy will do more than solve the problems created by Labor.  

Zero-emissions nuclear energy will re-energise the Australian economy, build our sovereign capability, and set the nation up for a new era of economic prosperity with cheap, clean and consistent 24/7 power.

At the front of this next wave of growth will be those communities which host modern zero-emissions nuclear plants.

Each of these communities will receive a benefits package which will be enshrined in legislation, including:

A multi-billion dollar facility guaranteeing high-paying jobs for generations to come

A zero-emissions nuclear plant will provide thousands of high paying jobs for coal power station workers, along with opportunities for local businesses to provide goods and services in the construction and operational phases, injecting millions of dollars into the local economy for up to 100 years.

An integrated economic development zone attracting manufacturing, value-add and high-tech industry

New industrial zones will be established and anchored to zero-emissions nuclear plants, enabling host communities to offer Australia’s cheapest, cleanest and most consistent 24/7 power, attracting:

  • High value manufacturing (e.g. defence and other speciality equipment, smelting);
  • Mineral processing (e.g. critical mineral processing and speciality metal refining);
  • High-tech sectors (e.g. datacentres).

Zone tenants will pay lower wholesale electricity prices and avoid network costs because they will have a direct power connection to the plant.

A regional deal unlocking investment in modern infrastructure, services and community priorities

Regional deals will unlock investment in local priorities across three areas:

  • Infrastructure (e.g. new or upgraded projects in air, road, rail, port, telecommunications, housing);
  • Public services (e.g. new or improved hospitals, schools, water, sewage and transport); and
  • Community (e.g. new investment fund with earnings distributed to community groups).  

The regional deals will be negotiated between the local community and the Federal Government, with input from State and Local Governments.

Where will they be built?

We have identified seven (7) locations.

These are the only locations in scope and the Coalition has ruled out all other locations.  

Each mainland state will be granted an opportunity to benefit from cheaper energy by hosting a zero-emissions nuclear plant.  

These locations are sites of former or current coal plants and they have the technical attributes needed for a zero-emissions nuclear plant, including transmission infrastructure, cooling water capacity and a skilled workforce.

Proposed Locations

Liddell Power Station, New South Wales

Mount Piper Power Station, New South Wales

Loy Yang Power Stations, Victoria

Tarong Power Station, Queensland

Callide Power Station, Queensland

Northern Power Station, South Australia (SMR only)

Muja Power Station, Western Australia (SMR only)

The Coalition will undertake two workstreams in parallel at each location during its first term of government.

Firstly, a comprehensive site study will be undertaken including detailed technical and economic assessments. A location may be removed from consideration if the study deems it unsuitable on technical grounds. Regardless of the outcome of technical assessments, no new locations will be added.

Secondly, a community engagement process will allow communities to have their questions answered by experts while a Community Partnership consisting of experienced local representatives will negotiate a benefits package to guarantee their region’s economic future.

Get the facts on nuclear

Waste management

Zero-emissions nuclear has proven to be one of the world’s safest forms of energy, due in large part to its successful management of waste. The spent fuel produced by an individual’s entire life’s energy use could easily fit inside a can of soft drink.

Nuclear fuel is solid, not airborne or liquid. Consistent with standard practice around the world, spent fuel from zero-emissions nuclear power plants will be stored on site throughout the life of the asset before being transferred to a permanent repository.

As part of the AUKUS agreement, we will soon be managing spent fuel from the reactors used in submarines. The Government is currently looking for a permanent repository for this purpose. Our intention is to follow the same approach as the United Kingdom by using the same permanent repository for managing spent fuel from both zero-emissions nuclear plants and our future fleet of nuclear propelled submarines.  

Australia is no stranger to nuclear waste. We have been successfully managing nuclear waste produced at our research reactors since 1958.

Responsibly managing our nuclear waste is something Australia needs to do, whether we pursue zero-emissions nuclear energy or not.

Australia’s scientists can manage this. They already do.

Environmental benefits

If you are serious about meeting our international climate change targets, then you must include zero emission nuclear as part of your energy mix. Zero emission nuclear power plants produce no air pollution or carbon emissions.

Zero emission nuclear power plants also use much less land and raw materials than large scale renewable projects. For instance, a next generation nuclear power station, including all auxiliary buildings and the security perimeter would cover about 45 acres (roughly the size of a mid-sized shopping centre). For every MWh of electricity produced:

  • Wind requires 360 times more land than nuclear.
  • Solar requires 75 times more land than nuclear.

In addition, unlike a modern nuclear plant, which under the Coalition’s plan can be plugged into the existing grid, Labor’s expensive renewables-only grid requires up to 28,000km of new transmission lines.

By reducing impacts on our landscape, zero-emissions nuclear will not only protect regional communities, but our environment and wildlife.

Longer operating life

Solar and wind renewable power plants need to be replaced approximately every 25 years whereas a modern zero emission nuclear power plant has an expected service life of up to 80 years.

Expensive renewable projects also create challenges with materials. In Australia:

  • There is expected to be over 1 million tonnes of end-of-life solar panels by 2035.1
  • It costs six times as much to recycle solar panels as sending them to landfill.2
  • 15,000 tonnes of blade composite waste will have been created by 2034.3

[1] UNSW, Solar panel end-of-life management in Australia, March 2024

[2] University of Sydney, Australia faces solar waste crisis, September 2023

[3] Clean Energy Council, Decommissioning, recycling and resource recovery of Australian wind turbines, March 2023


Modern nuclear power plants with the latest technology are incredibly safe.

The technology is safe enough for our international partners such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and France.

The technology is safe enough for Australian Defence Force personnel who will shortly be operating nuclear propelled submarines under the AUKUS agreement.

The technology is safe enough for residents of Lucas Heights in Sydney, who have lived and worked around an operating reactor since 1958.

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