Malaysiakini – AELB not forthcoming with info on Lynas plant

4:09PM Dec 6, 2011

Kuantan parliamentarian Fuziah Salleh accused the government’s Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) of suppressing information on recommendations put forth by the international regulatory body on Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp).

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh

Citing the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) report, Fuziah said that Lynas Corp which is close to completing its rare earth refinery in Gebeng,, Kuantan, was told to provide a better long-term waste management plan.

“In fact the IAEA never said Lamp is safe. After IAEA came out with it report, there were certain amendments proposed for AELB to implement.

“However, AELB is using Section 41 (of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984) which relates to secrecy to not reveal the action that is being taken to the public,” said Fuziah in a statement.

‘Provide list of contractors’

According to her, the details that are being hushed are:

  • A new regulation under the Atomic Energy Licensing Act has been introduced on “management of radioactive waste” specially for Lynas. The regulation did not exist previoulsy as Lynas has always maintained that the industrial waste from Lamp did not pose any danger.
  • In September, the AELB had already approved the amendment of the Rare Earth Oxide licence to import raw materials from Australia by Lynas into a licence to import/export of radioactive materials.
  • Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Johnity Ongkili was forced to admit on Nov 14 in the Dewan Rakyat that Lamp’s waste is radioactive.
  • IAEA requested a long-term plan of waste management from Lamp, in particular, management of the water leach purification solids which has the reading of 6 Bq|g as it denotes radioactive waste.

Fuziah said Pahang Menteri Besar Adnan Yaakob had called on Lynas Corp to provide a list of its contractors entrusted to constructed the RM1.5 billion rare earth refinery.

Welcoming the move, the PKR parliamentarian also urged Adnan to force the state’s Environmental Department to make public its initial Environmental Impact Assessment of the plant in 2008.

The rare earth refinery which is to manufacture high-technology products like hybrid cars, smartphones to bombs, is said to be 85 percent complete and touted to be the biggest in the world.

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