Malaysiakini – Letter of undertaking on radioactive waste ‘useless’

6:05PM Mar 1, 2012

A letter of undertaking obtained by Lynas is not good enough to ensure the return of hazardous waste from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) to Australia.

NONE“I would like to bring to the attention of the health minister that a letter of undertaking is meaningless until and unless it is accompanied by a confirmation and approval letter from the Australian authorities to accept the radioactive waste generated by Lamp back to their country,” Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh said in a statement today.

Fuziah expressed fear that the Malaysian authorities may consider recycling and turning the hazardous wastes into commercial products should Lynas not ship the wastes back to Australia.

“The health minister’s statement today reflects incompetence in knowledge of regulating the world’s largest rare earth plant outside China,” she said.

Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai has said that Lynas should issue a letter of undertaking to return the hazardous wastes to Australia prior to the issuance of its licence, regardless of the stance of the Australian authorities.

Prove claims, science ministry told

Meanwhile, civil society groups have slammed the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as irresponsbile and for ‘fooling the rakyat’ with its vague stance on Lynas Advanced Materials
Plant (Lamp).

“All these claims and opinions by people who are elected by us to safeguard our interests have demonstrated clearly that they are not fit to be where they are,” Save Malaysia, Stop Lynas (SMSL) representative Steve Hang said.

Hang said this in response to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Johnity Ongkili, who said last month that waste water from rare earths plants in the United States were not treated and discharged directly into drains, proving that such wastes are safe.

The minister, he said, should substantiate this claim.

“We would like to invite the minister to state, with proof, which part of the US, and which factories in the areas concerned, are allowed to do that,” Hang added.

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