Australian news, and some related international items

Is rare earths company Lynas planning to return radioactive wastes to Australia?

“Where exactly is ‘abroad’? Identify and prove to us which country outside of Malaysia is willing to accept this massive [volume of] toxic waste.

AELB says will close Lynas plant if waste agreement broken The Malaysian Insider, March 15, 2012  KUALA LUMPUR,   The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) assured Malaysians today it will shutter Lynas Corporation’s rare earth plant in Kuantan if the Australian mining firm violates conditions on the disposal of radioactive material.

According to Star Online, the regulator reminded at its weekly media briefing today that that firm had already struck an agreement with local authorities here for it to return any radioactive waste to Australia if it fails to set up a permanent disposal facility here.

This, said AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, is
despite Lynas’s pledge that all residues from the plant in Gebeng,
Kuantan, would be recycled into products that can be sold.

“The board has approved a temporary operating licence (TOL) to Lynas
but we have not issued it.

“Whether Lynas can proceed with its operations in June (as claimed by
Lynas) remains to be seen,” the English daily quoted him as saying
during the briefing.

Putrajaya recently said the Sydney-based Lynas Corp had sent a letter
of undertaking to the government, promising to send its rare earth
processing residue abroad if it cannot find a suitable waste disposal
site in Malaysia.

But in response, anti-Lynas group Himpunan Hijau scoffed at the
undertaking and demanded International Trade Minister Datuk Mustapa
Mohamad reveal which foreign destination would accept such large
amounts of toxic waste.

“Where exactly is ‘abroad’? Identify and prove to us which country outside of Malaysia is willing to accept this massive [volume of] toxic waste. Tell us which third world country Lynas will invade and
pollute next. We want to know the full details,” the group’s chairman,
Wong Tack, had asked.

The anti-Lynas lobbyist also demanded to know how much radioactive
waste the miner plans to accumulate as well as the duration these
would be stored at a temporary dumpsite before being shipped out.

He claimed in his statement that the proposed local dump is located in
an unsuitable swamp area in the Gebeng industrial zone, on the
outskirts of coastal Kuantan.

March 16, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international, rare earths, uranium, wastes

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