Ipsos-Reid Report for: Bruce Power Haldimand-Norfolk Public Opinion Survey
April 30, 2007
Bruce Power commissioned Ipsos Reid to conduct a public opinion poll in the Haldimand-Norfolk area. The research included measures of - The impact of the closure of the Nanticoke coal facility to residents;
- Support for new nuclear with the prospect of coal closure; and
- Attitudes around planning.
Two-thirds (66%) of residents of Haldimand-Norfolk, Ontario think it would be bad news if the Nanticoke coal plant in their community were to close as scheduled in 2014.
Assuming the coal plant was to close as planned; a majority (62%) of community residents would support the Ontario Government building a new nuclear capacity at the plant. There are many reasons for support, employment opportunities being most commonly cited with 34% of mentions. Additionally, nearly all (88%) residents, regardless of whether or not they support the proposition, think it would be good for jobs if the provincial government chose Haldimand-Norfolfk for the building of a new nuclear capacity and two-thirds (67%) think it would be a good news story for the community.
A measure of the impact of five factors on one's decision to support/oppose new nuclear at Nanticoke indicates that Canadian management (58%) has the greatest impact, followed by safety records at exiting nuclear facilities in the province (52%), environmental records at existing facilities (48%), cost to build (47%), and overall track record of exiting facilities (43%).
Finally, a strong majority (81%) of community residents are open to a Canadian company discussing nuclear options for Nanticoke. Residents would benefit from such discussions because few (11%) are "very knowledgeable" about nuclear.
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid/Bruce Power poll conducted from March 22 to 25, 2007. For the survey, a representative randomly selected sample of 600 adult residents of Haldimand-Norfolk, Ontario was interviewed by telephone. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ±4.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had this entire population been polled.
DETAILED FINDINGS: Impact of Closure of Nanticoke Coal Plant
One-third of residents think it would be a good news story if the Nanticoke coal plant were to close, the rest think it would be bad.
3. If the government were to close the Nanticoke coal plant, do you think this would be a good news story for your community? Haldimand-Norfolk N=600
Good News - 66%
Bad News - 30%
Support for New Nuclear with Prospect of Closure Assuming it was to close as planned; a majority would support building new nuclear at Nanticoke. There are many different reasons why Haldimand-Norfolk residents support new nuclear in their community; jobs is the top reason.
6. Do you support or oppose the Government of Ontario building a new and additional nuclear capacity at the existing Nanticoke plant in your community or local area? Would that be strongly or somewhat? Base: Haldimand-Norfolk N=600
7. And can you please tell me why? Base: Haldimand-Norfolk Support: N=369
Strongly Support - 29%
Somewhat Support - 33%
Total Support - 62%
Strongly Oppose - 25%
Somewhat Oppose - 12%
Total Oppose - 37%
Reasons for support
Create Jobs - 34%
Environment (NET) - 19%
Supply (NET) - 18%
Economy - 14%
Infrastructure there - 9%
More efficient than coal - 7%
Safer - 5%
Might as well - 5%
Like nuclear - 5%
Way of the future - 4%
Cheaper/Affordable - 3%
Two-thirds of Haldimand-Norfolk residents think it would be good news if Nanticoke were chosen and nearly all think it would be good for jobs.
12. Overall, do you think that if the Government of Ontario chose Haldimand-Norfolk for the building of a new nuclear capacity at the existing facility in your community would this be a good news story or a bad news story for your community? Base: Haldimand-Norfolk N=600
Good for Jobs - 88%
Bad for Jobs - 10%
Good News Story - 67%
Bad News Story - 30%
While all five factors--Canadian management, safety records at exiting nuclear facilities in the province, environmental records at existing facilities, cost to build, and overall track record of exiting facilities--have at least some impact on support/opposition for new nuclear at Nanticoke; for most residents, the largest impact is whether or not it's Canadian managed/operated.
9. I'm now going to read you a list of statements and I'd like you to tell me what extent each influences your decision to support or oppose building a new nuclear capacity at the existing Nanticoke plant in your community or your local area? Base: Haldimand-Norfolk N=600
Large Imact - 58%
Some Impact - 30%
No Impact - 9%
Safety record of existing Ontario facilities
Large Imact - 52%
Some Impact - 36%
No Impact - 11%
Environmental record of existing Ontario facilities
Large Imact - 48%
Some Impact - 39%
No Impact - 10%
Cost to build
Large Imact - 47%
Some Impact - 40%
No Impact - 12%
Overall track record of existing Ontario facilities
Large Imact - 43%
Some Impact - 43%
No Impact - 12%
Attitudes Towards Planning:
A strong majority are open to a Canadian company conducting studies and discussing nuclear options for the Nanticoke site over the next three years; in fact, most are "definitely" open to it.
11. Would you be open to a Canadian company conducting studies and discussing nuclear options for the Nanticoke site over the next three years as part of a decision making process? Haldimand-Norfolk N=600
Definitely - 58%
Probably - 23% (Total Open to it 81%)
Maybe - 6%
Probably not - 4%
Definitely not - 8%
While two-thirds of Haldimand-Norfolk residents feel knowledgeable about nuclear energy, just one in ten feel "very" knowledgeable.
5. Overall, would you say you are very knowledgeable, somewhat knowledgeable, not very knowledgeable, or not at all knowledgeable about nuclear energy and nuclear technology issues? Haldimand-Norfolk N=600
Very Knowledgeable - 11%
Somewhat Knowledgeable - 56%
Not very Knowledgeable - 25%
Not at all Knowledgeable - 8%