Review Lynas' licence, stop thorium extraction plan, says a group of DAP lawmakers


KUALA LUMPUR: Several DAP lawmakers have urged the government to review Lynas Malaysia's licence and stop the plan for thorium extraction from the radioactive waste produced at the factory of the rare earths producer.

Chow Yu Hui (PH-Raub) said that he remains unconvinced whether Lynas Malaysia was capable of extracting thorium.

"Let us not forget that the amount of waste from the Lynas plant was as large as five hills behind its factory.

"Will the new thorium extraction technology and Lynas be able to manage its radioactive waste, which is expected to reach 1.2 million metric tonnes," he told reporters at the Parliament media centre, on Thursday (Nov 23).

Oct 24, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Chang Lih Kang announced that Lynas Malaysia would be allowed to import lanthanide concentrate until its licence expires in March 2026.

Chang also said that AELB decided to amend Lynas Malaysia's license conditions after the company made a proposal to the licensing board about its thorium extraction technology.

With this, Chang said radioactive waste would not be produced after extraction and cracking and leeching activities are carried out on lanthanide concentrate.

Khoo Poay Tiong (PH-Kota Melaka) said that the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry had announced on May 10 regarding the renewal of Lynas Malaysia's licence until Dec 31.

However, Khoo said that within a period of five months, the government via the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had reviewed Lynas' licence conditions.

"This matter has raised many concerns regarding the radioactive pollution and the safety of locals," added Khoo.

Khoo also wanted to know which parties came up with the idea of thorium extraction.

"We also want clarification from the government on what is the possible market for thorium?" he asked.

Tan Hong Pin (PH-Bakri) also pointed out that thorium extraction technology was still in its initial phases even at the international level.

"To what extent can thorium be extracted, used and commercially extracted?

"What are the effective measures that can be taken by the government to address the issue and to ensure that Lynas will adhere to all the international standards in managing radioactive waste," said Tan.

The Atomic Energy Licencing Board (AELB) will closely monitor the thorium extraction process from its radioactive waste by Lynas Malaysia, assures the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister on Nov 16.

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Lynas , Licence , Thorium Extraction Plan , DAP ,

   

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