Lynas Malaysia prepared to comply with review committee's recommendations

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 03 Apr 2019

KUANTAN: Lynas Malaysia has reiterated its preparedness to comply with the executive review committee's recommendation to store its water leach purification (WLP) residue in a permanent disposal facility (PDF).

Its managing director Datuk Mashal Ahmad said the Pakatan Harapan government's review committee had taken a diligent, scientific approach by visiting the Lynas Malaysia facility and holding meetings with management, scientific experts, community members and groups opposed to Lynas.

"Following this, the review committee found Lynas Malaysia's operations are low risk, compliant with relevant regulations and residue storage facilities are operated in a proper manner.

"These findings are consistent with several independent and scientific reviews, including by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The review committee also made recommendations, including for Lynas Malaysia to site and build a PDF for the WLP residue.

"Lynas Malaysia is prepared to comply with this recommendation," he said in a statement on Wednesday (April 3).

Mashal added that the company believes the review committee's recommendations should be followed and that all assessment of its operations should be based on scientific facts and evidence, not unsupported assertions.

He said this was in contrast with the parliamentary caucus committee, which Lynas Malaysia had invited to visit the plant, or to receive a briefing on its operations.

"Lynas Malaysia has also confirmed its invitations to the Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister.

"To date, all except one member of the caucus have either declined or not responded to our hand-delivered invitations. This is disappointing, as many assertions made by the committee are incorrect and we wish to ensure that all members have access to the facts," said Mashal.

On the matter of its waste management, Mashal said all three consecutive operating licences issued by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) required Lynas Malaysia to carry out research and development on the safe reuse of the WLP residue generated.

"If that proves impractical, the licence conditions require Lynas Malaysia to site, construct and build a PDF to store the WLP residue. Lynas Malaysia is only required to export the WLP out of Malaysia if both of the previous options are not available," he said.

Mashal explained that the letter signed by the then Lynas Corporation executive chairman on Feb 23, 2012, used the term "if necessary" that explicitly referred to the three-stage order of priority in each of its operating licences.

"Lynas Malaysia has commissioned numerous independent research reports, all of which demonstrate that option one (reuse) is feasible. Option two (PDF) is also feasible and the AELB has previously approved Lynas Malaysia's siting plan for a PDF.

"In addition, the letter only relates to residue generated during the two-year temporary operating licence period," he said.

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