KUALA LUMPUR: Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh was emotional, choking on her words at times while relating how radioactive waste from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) has harmed her constituency and its people.
Fuziah, who has been a critic of Australian rare earth miner Lynas, said she had often insisted that the radioactive waste should not have been allowed to be there as it was harmful to the environment and the people’s health.
This was proven when the executive committee report on the operations of LAMP published on Tuesday noted that there was an increase in heavy metal concentration such as nickel, chromium, lead and mercury in the ground water, she said.
Nickel and chromium, she added, were carcinogenic substances.
Fuziah said this proved that the storage of radioactive waste at the LAMP site had contaminated the ground water.
“I am angry, sad and disappointed. Imagine, for so long we have allowed them to store their waste on site and now it is proven that their waste has migrated into the water.
“We don’t want (to see) 20 years down the road that there’s a sudden increase in cancer cases. Who will pay for it?” she asked during a press conference yesterday.
She stressed that Lynas must keep its promise, made in 2012, to send the residue from its rare earth plant in Gebeng back to Australia.
Since the plant was given a temporary operating licence (TOL) and allowed to operate in 2012, it has yet to set up a site for permanent disposal facility to dispose of the radioactive residue.
“The review committee managed to do the findings because there was a baseline study in 2007 where the (nickel concentration) reading was very low and there was a jump after Lynas began operations,” she said, adding there was a risk of radioactive waste leaching into the ground when kept in open storage.
“They should send the waste back to Australia immediately. The monsoon season is here and there will be a lot of rain,” Fuziah said.
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