The Star Online – Anti-Lynas groups condemn temporary licence

Published: Thursday February 2, 2012 MYT 12:50:00 PM
Updated: Thursday February 2, 2012 MYT 1:45:27 PM


KUANTAN: Anti-Lynas protest groups have strongly condemned the Atomic Energy Licensing Board’s (AELB) approval of a temporary operating licence (TOL) for the mining corporation’s rare earth refinery in Gebeng here.

Stop Lynas Coalition (SLC) Chairman Andansura Rabu said he was shocked the licence was granted even though the permanent disposal facility (PDF) issue had yet to be solved.

“One of AELB’s conditions was that the plans and location of the PDF must be disclosed within ten months of the TOL issuance. Why didn’t the Government and its agencies force Lynas to solve this issue before considering the approval?” he asked at a press conference here Thursday.

AELB director-general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan said in a statement Wednesday that the licence could be suspended or cancelled while future applications would not be entertained if Lynas did not adhere to five conditions.

The conditions include a US$50mil (RM152mil) deposit that Lynas must keep with the Government.

Andansura added that AELB’s statement did not consider the R&D that would be performed by Lynas to recycle the waste.

“Pahang will become like a public toilet for Lynas. By imposing the deposit on them, it is as though Lynas has just been absolved of all responsibilities,” he said.

Andansura said the coalition would proceed to file an injunction at the Kuala Lumpur High Court by Feb 13 to stop the plant from operating.

Meanwhile, Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh said that AELB’s condition that the residue should be returned to the source if necessary was irrational.

“Western Australian Minister for Mines and Petroleum Norman Moore had already said that they will not accept the waste and it will belong to Malaysia.

“The United Nations’ Basel Convention which declared that any radioactive material must be returned to its country of origin could not be enforced as well as it does not cover radioactive waste,” she said in a press statement.

The Himpunan Hijau and Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) protest groups will hold press conferences later in the afternoon to respond to the TOL approval.

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