Nuclear power would demand political consensus and take many years to develop but it is a debate worth having, the prime minister says.
Malcolm Turnbull made the remark after spruiking his $2 billion expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme and following weeks of unceasing discussion about gas, coal and renewable energy.
The Minerals Council of Australia has called for the blanket ban on nuclear power to be lifted after 11 coalition government MPs publicly declared it should be included in the energy mix.
Mr Turnbull says establishing a nuclear power station would need a high degree of bipartisanship because its development would span the lives of various governments from different parties.
"But even assuming you had all of that, it would take many, many, many years to build. It's not something that could be done in four or five years, let alone two or three years," he told Sydney's 2GB Radio.
"I think it's an important debate to have but in the near term and in the medium term, storage is a very critical necessity."
The minerals council argued nuclear power was reliable, affordable, safe and a proven technology that produced close to zero carbon emissions.