Experts’ opinions on the Lynas rare earth refinery in Malaysia

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“We have to work together to fight the tyranny of economic supremacy that puts profit above people and the environment,” said an expert at a seminar organised by Save Malaysia Stop Lynas.

From left, Tan Bun Teet (chairperson of SMSL), Wong Tack (chairperson of Himpunan Hijau), Theivanai (enviromental lawyer, Friends of the Earth, Malaysia), Gerhard Schmidt (senior scientist in Oeko Institute, Germany), Dr Yoshihiko Wada (PhD in Ecological Economics, Doshisha University, Japan), Dr Peter Karamoskos (nuclear radiologist, public representative in Arpansa, Australia), Prof Wang Guo Zheng (senior scientist in China rare earth industry), Prof Chan Chee Khoon (epidemiologist, Universiti Malaya)
From left, Tan Bun Teet (chairperson of SMSL), Wong Tack (chairperson of Himpunan Hijau), Theivanai (enviromental lawyer, Friends of the Earth, Malaysia), Gerhard Schmidt (senior scientist in Oeko Institute, Germany), Dr Yoshihiko Wada (PhD in Ecological Economics, Doshisha University, Japan), Dr Peter Karamoskos (nuclear radiologist, public representative in Arpansa, Australia), Prof Wang Guo Zheng (senior scientist in China rare earth industry), Prof Chan Chee Khoon (epidemiologist, Universiti Malaya)

On the morning of 24 November 2013, about 150 concerned Malaysians attended a seminar to gain an in-depth understanding of the Lynas rare earth refinery project in Malaysia from eminent international and local experts at the Mandarin Court Hotel. The experts shared their knowledge of the issue and expressed concern for Malaysia.

Expensive toxic legacy in the making

Gerhard Schmidt, a senior scientist and toxic and radioactive waste expert from the Oeko Institute in Germany, has done a thorough analysis and evaluation of Lynas’ waste and pollution blue print.

He said, “In Europe, past mistakes have costed the public a lot of money to clean up decades later till today, not counting the health care costs that might have resulted from the hazards. The Malaysian government should take the scientific advice to require Lynas to manage its waste and pollution to international best practice standards and not to leave another expensive toxic legacy.”

SMSL had requested for meetings with the two regulators – the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and the Department of Environment (DoE) as well as for a plant visit at the Lynas plant whilst our experts were around. The government did not respond and Lynas wanted the visit to happen in December, by which time the experts would have gone.

Dr Peter Karamoskos, a nuclear medicine physician and radiologist and public representative on the Radiation Health Committee of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (Arpansa), explained to the audience how international radiation safety standards are set and promoted.

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He commented, “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) acknowledges that radioactive waste poses a threat to human health and therefore must be managed properly in a scientifically sound manner. We cannot determine if a project is safe until there is transparency both at the company and the governmental levels. In the case of Lynas, the lack of transparency is a major problem. Malaysia really has to make sure its regulation is implemented to prevent any runaway risk to the public for many generations to come.”

Financing of a toxic project

The Lynas project was made possible through finance provided by the Japanese government through the Japan Oil, Gas and Metal Corporation (JOGMEC).

Professor Yoshihiko Wada from the Doshisha University in Kyoto said, “We have to work together to fight the tyranny of economic supremacy that puts profit above people and the environment. We need to make the Japanese Government more accountable for their financing. We have to make sure that their investment is done in accordance with their own established ‘Environmental and Social Guidelines.’

“I urge concerned Malaysians to use this leverage to exert political pressure on the Japanese government. We can request for formal inquiries that can be submitted through Members of the Diet (parliamentarians), as well as educating the mainstream media,” he added.

Is a safe rare earth plant possible?

If Lynas is serious about its corporate social responsibility and in living up to its ‘green’ image, the findings and recommendations of the Oeko evaluation report should have prompted the Australian company to change or at least initiate the following:

  • come up with a completely new waste management concept to comply with international best practice,
  • build new interim storages for their wastes with a really thick liner underneath to prevent leaks,
  • come up with a site for a Permanent Disposal Facility (PDF) with excellent isolation conditions and nominated in consent with the then-affected communities,
  • put in place an additional cleaning stage for acids in their off-gas treatment stage.
READ MORE:  Stop Lynas from polluting our environment

Schmidt remarked, “To my disappointment, Lynas has not done that and the Malaysian government has not acted in its duty of care to make Lynas do that in the interest of its citizens and the environment and for the country’s long-term well being.”

Tan Bun Teet from SMSL concluded, “Our government kept claiming that the Lynas plant is scientifically safe. This is why we have sought scientific input from credible and independent scientists and professionals who can provide us with their opinion and views without prejudice, fear or favour. We will continue to campaign on the Lynas issue to build a safer Malaysia. This is just another step we have taken.”

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hw looi
hw looi

ANTI-LYNAS FOLKS HAVE DEFINITEY BEEN SUCKERED BY CERTAIN POLITICIANS.

Quote: AELB (Atomic Energy Licensing Board, Malaysia):

Malaysia was the world’s no. 1 producer of tin. Along with tin, there’s always Thorium and Uranium and therefore this is not Malaysia’s first facility, AELB is has experience to handle this, to overcome this and AELB is prepared.

According to AELB,

THERE ARE MORE THAN 10 FACILITIES THAT ARE VERY SIMILAR TO LYNAS.

SOME OF THEM ARE PRODUCING HIGHER RESIDUES, HIGHER CONCENTRATION OF URANIUM AND THORIUM.

AELB has been able to regulate and control these factories, so it is based on AELB experience and the experience of the industry abroad.” Unquote

QUESTION: WHY IS IT THAT THERE ARE NO DEMONSTRATIONS BY
THE ANTI-LYNAS FOOT-SOLDIERS AGAINST THESE 10 CHEMICAL
PLANTS ALREADY IN MALAYSIA THAT ARE PRODUCING “WASTES
WITH HIGHER CONCENTRATIONS OF URANIUM AND THORIUM”?

Dr Looi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvgAx1yIKjg

Video of woman sunbathing in sand which is 1,920% more radioactive than
Lynas WLP

Aliran
Aliran

Future comments written in capital letters will not be approved.

Cyber trooper alert
Cyber trooper alert

I see the lynas cyber troopers are hanging out here.

hw looi
hw looi

HOW THE CHINESE WERE SUCKERED Quote Mahesvaran Mahadevan 06.12.12 : ” I AM CONFUSED WHY ONLY CHINESE ANTI-LYNAS WHEN OTHERS SO QUIET, WEIRD.” Unquote. Comment: Yes, why only the Malaysian Chinese and no other racial groups are involved in this comical anti-lynas debacle. At present, about 95% of these rare earths are mined and refined in China. If you look at all the foreign blogs and press, you will see that most of the commentators are saying that CHINA IS THE HIDDEN CULPRIT BEHIND ALL THIS NONSENSE ! You cannot blame the foreigners for doing so as: PRACTICALLY ALL ANTI-LYNAS NINCOMPOOPS ARE CHINESE PRACTICALLY ALL NON-CHINESE ARE PRO-LYNAS, SO THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION ? CHINA IS THE ULTIMATE CULPRIT ! ! ! And this has triggered a lot of ill will, animosity, hatred and disgust for what was perceived as “CHINA’S DIRTY TRICKS AND MANIPULATIONS.’ However, this is not the real truth. Quote Anti-Lynas Jade Lee: “It may enlighten some readers here, if you are open minded enough to listen and to learn the truth, IT WAS A FEW CHURCH LEADERS IN KUANTAN who have first started… Read more »

Aliran
Aliran

Please refrain from using capital letters.

Ali bumaye
Ali bumaye

This is propaganda rubbish. Malaysia will never get anywhere if these types are projects are blocked.

hw looi
hw looi

IT IS RATHER ODD THAT ANY MATERIAL THAT HAS A RADIOACTIVITY OF BELOW 1.20 Bq/g IN THE USA OR EU CAN EVEN BE EATEN, WHEREAS IN MALAYSIA YOU NEED A SPECIAL LICENSE FROM AELB TO TRANSPORT THESE SAME MATERIAL iF IT’S RADIOACTIVITY IS MORE THAN 1 Bq/g ! Regulatory Limits On Radioactivity In Foods (in Bq/kg)* USA FOODSTUFF = 1.20 Bq/g (1,200 Bq/kg) E.U. FOODSTUFF = 1.25 Bq/g (1,250 Bq/kg) Accepted global limits on radioactivity levels in foods is 1000 Bq/kg (1,200 Bq/kg in the U.S. and 1,250 Bq/kg in the EU). Dominated by cesium-137 and Sr-90, these levels were set by organizations like the IAEA and UNSCEAR after decades of study. IN MALAYSIA, ANY MATERIAL THAT HAS A RADIOACTIVITY OF OVER 1 Bq/g WILL BE CONSIDERED TO BE RADIOACTIVE AND NEEDS AELB PERMISSION TO BE TRANSPORTED ! ! ! IN THE EU AND USA, BELOW 1.2 Bq/g IS CONSIDERED to be non-radioactive for transport purpose AND IF IT IS EDIBLE IS ALSO FIT TO BE EATEN ! ! ! In the vast majority of the countries, any material which has an activity of 10 Bq/g… Read more »

hw looi
hw looi

IN THE BRAZILIAN BEACH OF GUARAPARI, YOU CAN COVER YOURSELF WITH RADIOACTVE SAND THAT IS 1,920% MORE RADIOACTIVE THAN LYNAS WLP RESIDUE !

And lots of Brazilians as well as tourists are doing just that !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RvgAx1yIKjg

♥ Ref: World Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology 2013, 3, 65-67

Arcia Preta area of the Guarapari Beach, Brazil

Th-232 = 57.0 Bq/g

Ra-226 = 4.10 Bq/g

Pb-214 = 3.60 Bq/g

Pb-212 = 47.5 Bq/g

K-40 = 3.00 Bq/g

♥ Total = 115.20 Bq/g

or 1,920% of Lynas WLP which has a miserable 6 Bq/g.

♥ Brazilians and tourists are not bothered about being in direct contact with 115 Bq/g of radioactive sand,

♥ BUT PEOPLE OF KUANTAN ARE PARANOID OF THE 6 Bq/g IN THE WLP WHICH IS 25 km AWAY FROM THEM !

There is something VERY WRONG WITH THE KUANTAN FOLKS !

Video of woman sunbathing in radioactive sand

hw looi
hw looi

TO ALL THE ANTI-LYNAS FOLKS,

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ANYTHING THAT CAUSES UNNECESSARY OR INAPPROPRIATE PAIN AND SUFFERING IS EVIL.

TRYING TO BREAK THE RICEBOWLS OF 1,750 POOR, INNOCENT, HARDWORKING MAINLY KAMPONG FOLKS FROM LYNAS WHO NEED THE MONEY TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN IS TRULY EVIL, especially when the reason for doing so is nothing more than just an
imaginary radiation fear with a non-existent toxic waste problem.

WHAT HAVE THE THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF THESE POOR HELPLESS INNOCENT CHILDREN OF THESE DECENT HARDWORKING PEOPLE DONE TO YOUR MASTER BRAINWASHER TO EVOKE SUCH AN EVIL DESIRE TO DESTROY THEIR LIVELIHOOD AND THEIR FUTURE?

Your master brainwasher has achieved what he or she has set out to do i.e. to manipulate you and enable for him or her to win the election.

It’s time for you to sit back, let go and realise that YOU HAVE BEEN SUCKERED !

hw looi
hw looi

WATER KILLED 388,000 PEOPLE by drowning in 2004 alone (WHO),

WHEREAS,

In the history of mankind, there is not a single well documented case among the ordinary people, of accidentally or environmentally ingested or inhaled Thorium-232 causing cancer, congenital defects or death.

♥ THORIUM OUTSIDE THE BODY = HARMLESS

Alpha particles cannot penetrate even a piece of paper

Beta and Gamma rays too miniscule to be significant

♥ THORIUM CANNOT GET INSIDE THE BODY = HARMLESS

Insoluble Thorium from Lynas is not absorbed.

Soluble Thorium in clay soil is not absorbed.

Only particles of 0.65 to 5.0 microns can get deep into the lungs and be absorbed.

The largest particle even at Mount Weld mine = > 12.5 microns

♥ THORIUM IS NOT DANGEROUS WHEN OUTSIDE THE BODY

♥ THORIUM CANNOT GET INTO THE BODY BY ACCIDENTAL INHALATION OR INGESTION

♥ SO WHAT’S THE BIG DANGER ?

hw looi
hw looi

♥ Do you know that up to 93% of the Lynas residues are of Malaysian origin? ♥ And do you know that the 3 Lynas residues consisting of FGD, NUF and WLP if not separated but left in it’s moist form, with about 35% moisture, would have an average specific activity of only 0.9 Bq/g EVEN WITHOUT DILUTION BY BLENDING! ♥ Import of Ore Concentrate = 65,000 tonnes/yr Production of REE = 22,500 tonnes/yr Therefore actual ‘Waste” of Australian origin = 65,000 – 22,500 = 42,500 tonnes/yr Total “Waste” from Lynas Plant = 290,400 tonnes/yr (OEKO) Therefore AUSTRALIA CONTRIBUTES ONLY 14.5 % (42,000 divided by 290,400×100 %) of the so-called “waste” tonnage ! SO 85.5 % OF ALL THE “WASTE” PRODUCED BY LYNAS IS ACTUALLY NATIVE TO MALAYSIA. ♥ In the initial phase of operation, the contribution of Australian materials to the “waste” is even less as only rare earth carbonates are produced. The CARBONATE and water makes up more than 1/2 of the weight of the hydrated Ce and La carbonate molecules. So to export 22,500 tonnes of REE, Lynas has to export more than… Read more »

Karl
Karl

Lynas is not a toxic plant, it is green and recycles all waste. That is a nice picture, but realize that the experts behind Lynas would be seven people deep, even more prestigious, and without politicians or lawyers in the group. None of the people in the picture have been to the plant, though invited, yet they talk about transparency.

Coolderry Clarence

What is the connection of these people with the Chinese Government. Why do they not talk about the environmental impact of Chinese REE?

jade
jade

No connection to the chinese government at all. the Chinese professor Wang DID talked about the problems from the rare earth industry in China. He also warned that we must not allow the Lynas waste be recycled into materials for road building, construction and fertilisers which Lynas has proposed and the AELB looked set to simply approve without thinking of its own duty of care to protect tax paying citizens and our precious environment. Lynas pays no tax to dump, discharge and store its pollution and wastes

najib manaukau

This is further proof that the morons in Umno have always put their pockets before everything else. If you think otherwise, think again for until the morons are out of Putrajaya. Even if it going to cost the public a lot of money, like they do in Europe, these Umno morons are not in the least going to worry how much it will be. These morons immediate concern is what they are now going to get. What is going to happen is a worry they are not in the least worried about, not to mention the fact that they know well they wouldn’t be around to look into in, besides the mega amount needed to clean up the mess is not going to come from their pocket. Now, you know why it is imperative to have them replaced not just to day but should have been done yesterday. Please do it while the opportunity is around, jump out of partnership immediately and if you don’t wish to become a partner in PKR but at least don’t stand behind and support them morons to be the government.… Read more »