The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has said it is not possible to have a comprehensive debate and full assessment of Ireland's energy needs for the future by excluding any known sources for energy.

Alex White said it was not for him to advocate nuclear or any other form of energy.

However, he said it was his job to conduct a comprehensive analysis of what Ireland's energy needs are for the future.

Mr White said there was no proposal for any nuclear reactor to be built in Ireland at all, and the law prevents that occurring.

He said Ireland was way, way off anything like that even being considered.

Minister White said the question of safety was the first issue on the agenda in any assessment of nuclear energy.

A green paper on energy policy was published in May 2014, and a white paper is currently being drafted.

The minister said this would be a definitive statement on what the energy needs are for the future of the country, and this will be published in the summer of 2015.

He said there was still time for citizens to be involved in the debate, however he said the Government had to make decisions.