ESB Chief Executive Padraig McManus has said that if the decision was made to build a nuclear power plant in Ireland it should be part of the UK network.

Speaking at the McGill Summer School about the issue of nuclear power, Mr McManus said if clean coal technology does not work then 'we will have to go to nuclear'.

He said if Ireland does not have a mix of coal, gas and renewable resources that we have to address the nuclear question.

But he added that investing in an entire support system and infrastructure to manage one nuclear station would be really expensive.

He said if a decision was made to build a nuclear power plant in Ireland it should be part of the UK network. He added that an economy the size of the UK has no other option but to invest in nuclear power.

In this situation, he said: 'Plenty of interconnection would be the Irish solution to the Irish problem'.

However, Mr McManus said for Ireland to build nuclear at this stage would not be economic.

'It is really expensive. It's not for Ireland now. It may be in the future building an interconnector and using it.'