Raymond Cho leading amongst decided voters, Liberals in 2nd place

Sixty-nine percent of the voters in the Scarborough-Rouge River provincial riding support the closing of the Pickering Nuclear Station in 2018 given the station’s high operating costs and its location in a large urban area, according to a public opinion survey conducted by Oraclepoll Research for the Ontario Clean Air Alliance.

The survey also revealed that 49% of the decided voters support the PC candidate Raymond Cho; 43% support the Liberal candidate Piragal Thiru; 7% support the NDP candidate Nathan Shan; and 1% support the Green Party candidate Priyan De Silva.

The 800 person survey was conducted between August 4th and August 10th.   It has a margin of error of 3.5%, 19 times out of 20.

Voters in the riding overwhelming supported closing Pickering if a lower-cost alternative for power were available, with 81% saying the province should opt for lower cost options. There was almost no support for keeping Pickering running indefinitely, with only 7% supporting this option.

Residents of the riding also felt that the province has done a poor job of keeping them informed about emergency measures in the event of an accident at the aging plant, with 59% rating safety communication efforts as poor or very poor.

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is planning to seek a 10-year licence extension, from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, which would allow Pickering to continue to operate until 2028 (the station’s current licence expires in 2018).  According to OPG, it wishes to continue to operate Pickering until 2024.

The Pickering Nuclear Station, which was originally designed to operate for 30 years, is now 45 years old.  It is the 4th oldest — and 5th largest — nuclear station in North America.   It is surrounded by more people – 2.2 million within 30 km – than any other nuclear plant on the continent.

Pickering’s operating costs per kWh are higher than those of any other nuclear station in North America.

Ontario no longer needs Pickering to keep our lights.  In 2015, Ontario exported more power than Pickering produced. Wind power prices secured under Ontario’s last Large Renewable Procurement round will be lower than the cost of power produced at Pickering as of 2018.  Quebec, meanwhile, is selling the bulk of its export power at an average cost of three cents per kWh, roughly one-third the cost of power from Pickering.

To download the Oraclepoll Research survey please click here.

For more details on Pickering’s costs and alternatives, read Closing the Pickering Nuclear Station in 2018: A Cost-Benefit Analysis at CleanAirAlliance.org

For more information, contact:

Jack Gibbons, Chair
416-260-2080 x2
jack@cleanairalliance.org