Anti-Lynas groups criticise IAEA’s findings

Posted on June 30, 2011. Filed under: Pollution |

malaysiakini.com-

anti-Lynas groups are dissatisfied with the IAEA international panel’s review report on the Lynas Advanced Material Plant (Lamp), claiming that the scope of the suggestions is narrow as expected.

The chairman of Save Malaysia, one of the local anti-Lynas groups, Tan Bun Teet, said that he was not surprised by the outcome of the report.

“I would say the same thing if I were the government,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted.

However, he pointed out that the suggestions are not comprehensive enough is that they do not include how residents living nearby the plant will be affected once it starts operating.

NONE“The suggestions only talk about the radioactive safety measurements, but do not refer to the environmental hazard, and how it would destroy economic activities as well as the health of the people,” Tan (right) added.

He said that the group does not have confidence in authorities’ monitoring capabilities, adding that there had been so many weaknesses in previous construction projects.

“It needs one week to identify an egg (whether it’s fake or not). The parliament and court building are constantly facing leakage problems. Look at the collapse of the Terengganu Stadium’s roof.

“But those are small things, because they did not affect people’s life. If there are leakages at the plant, it (radioactive isotopes) will enter the food chain, it will become an endless tragedy,” he claimed.

Thus, Tan reiterated the stand of Save Malaysia, of not wanting the RM700 million rare earth plant to established at any corner of the country.

“Not only we are against it, many people will also oppose it,” he added.

‘Report backs our fears’

The IAEA international panel in its review report on Lamp, said that the team was not able to identify any non-compliance with international radiation safety standards.

However, the review team made an 11-point “necessary recommendations” to the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) for monitoring the plant before the start of operations, seven being technical recommendations.

NONEThe recommendations include the need for Lynas to submit its long-term plans for waste management to the AELB. Out of the 11 recommendations, five are to be carried out by the AELB.

The plant, which residents fear will produce highly toxic radioactive waste, is scheduled to begin its trial run in September.

Echoing Tan, the chairman of the Anti-Rare Earth Action Group (Badar) Andansura Rabu also said the report confirmed the protest movement’s fears raised so far.

“If we don’t protest, the plant will go along without the 11 conditions,” he said, adding that what has been mentioned on the report just merely paper work, which is different from reality.

He stressed that the group will continue protesting including taking legal action to stop the project.

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