‘Lynas plant licence application full of holes’

Posted on January 27, 2012. Filed under: Pollution |

-malaysiakini.com-

Anti-Lynas groups are charging that the application submitted for the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (Lamp) pre-operating licence is “full of holes”.

In a four-page joint memorandum submitted yesterday, Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) and the Stop Lynas Coalition (SLC) said among other issues, the Lynas’ waste management plan does not fully disclose the contents of its waste streams.

“In the absence of complete data, it will be risky and impossible for the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (Mosti), and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to assess the merits and credibility of Lynas’ remedial procedures for its waste streams,” the memorandum states.

NONEIn a press statement, SMSL chairperson Tan Bun Teet (right) said, “We are disappointed, but not surprised by the very weak application presented by Lynas.

“Most worrying of all is that Lynas’ proposed waste management plan is full of holes and is totally unsafe. Under no circumstance should the government issue the licence.”

Meanwhile, SLC chairperson Andansura Rabu urged the government to ensure that Lynas carries out detailed environmental impact and social impact assessments, and ensure both reports are readily available for public scrutiny.

No permanent solution for waste

Other issues raised in the submissions include Lynas’ lack of a permanent solution for its wastes disposal, and plans to use Lamp’s waste materials to produce commercial gypsum and fertiliser enhancers, which they said would “literarily scatter Lynas’ radioactive substances into households, offices and food production areas”.

The submission adds: “Mosti and AELB should not issue any pre-operational licence unless and until Lynas can realistically demonstrate a safe permanent solution to its massive amount of radioactive wastes.”

The submissions were presented to Mosti and AELB yesterday at the Pahang state secretariat office, where the documents of Lynas pre-operating licence application have been on display.

“We hope the government will seriously consider the comments and suggestions presented through the submissions. Otherwise, we will have no choice but to take the matter to the court,” the joint memorandum states.

When contacted later yesterday, Tan told Malaysiakini that around 300 people gathered outside the state building to show support for the anti-Lynas groups, but were confronted by about 30 police officers led by the Kuantan district police chief.

Tan said the police initially ordered the group to disperse, except for five representatives to submit the memorandum, but rescinded the order when told that the area was a public place where members of the public could submit their views on Lynas to the AELB.

Nonetheless, police barred the bulk of the supporters from entering a room where Lynas’ application documents are kept for public viewing, allowing only a small group to hold a press conference there.

NONELynas’ application for the rare earth refinery has been on public display from Jan 3 until yesterday, but the display has been criticised by the two NGOs for its restrictive rules, such as allowing only one person to read the 300- to 400-page document at a time, and for only one hour.

Lynas Corp is reportedly said to be waiting for a Jan 30 decision on its licence application from the AELB.

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