Using a 3rd party application for uninstallation, Revo uninstaller Pro, I found a significant amount of registry keys and folders that was associated with either the 32 or 64 bit version of the browser.
I had them all deleted to make sure the system was clean, then reinstalled Opera.
Looking at the task manager it seems to have stabilized now.
Closing and opening the browser a few times just to make sure it was not just a fluke.
Its now swinging at 7-8%(07-08) and holding steady there.
So it must have been some lingering effects from the old registry keys and folders that cause the trouble.
Thank you for the help, I can now use the browser again.