March 7, 2006

Nuclear not popular
Nuclear among least popular electricity options

Ontario voters want an electricity plan that emphasizes efficiency and clean renewable power instead of nuclear energy, a public opinion poll conducted for the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) has found.
A strong majority of voters believe that the OCAA is on the right track with its proposal to increase efficiency, develop more clean renewable power and use high-efficiency natural gas-fired power plants as a bridging technology, with 65% supporting this approach.  Only 12% of Ontario voters are opposed to the OCAA’s strategy.
By comparison, fewer than 10% of those surveyed thought that the province should turn to nuclear power first to meet its electricity needs.  New nuclear power plants were ranked just ahead of new coal plants at the bottom of the list of options for meeting Ontario’s electricity needs.
Close to half of  Ontario’s voters (48%) also said they would be more likely to support a party in the 2007 provincial election that planned to meet Ontario’s electricity needs without building new nuclear power plants.  Only 11% said they would be more inclined to support a party that was committed to new nuclear power plants.
Ontarians remain committed to phasing out dirty coal power, with 55% endorsing the government’s 2009 phase-out deadline and 70% saying that coal emissions were harmful to health in the province.  But the overall poll results indicate that they also want the province to emphasize efficiency and renewable power to get the greatest benefit from the coal phase-out.
“Clearly Ontario voters are rejecting the Ontario Power Authority’s plan that would increase our electricity consumption by 20% over the next 20 years, and that calls for meeting 60-80% of our incremental electricity needs by re-investing in nuclear power,” says Jack Gibbons, Chair of the OCAA.
The full polling results are available on our website at


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Jessica Fracassi
Communications & Membership Manager
Ontario Clean Air Alliance
402-625 Church St, Toronto M4Y 2G1
Phone: 416-926-1907 ext. 245
Fax: 416-926-1601