BENTONG: The Cabinet has decided that Lynas must send its radioactive waste out of Malaysia, said Health Minister Datulc Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The requirement, he said, was set by the Government and the Australian rare earth miner had to abide by it.
"It is not part of the requirements under Lynas' temporary operating licence (TOL) but it is the Government's decision.
"They have to process the waste into products and then send it out of Malaysia. Lynas has already shown it is able to do that," he said after attending a Hari Raya Aidilfitri dinner hosted by the Bentong Youth Council here last night. Liow who is the chairman of a Lynas watchdog committee said the Government would monitor the rare earth plant's operation even though Lynas had announced it was willing send its residue.
In a related development, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) said the TOL given to Lynas was not a blank cheque allowing it to do as it pleased.
AELB director-general Datuk Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan said the TOL only allows for limited operations at the plant, especially in the early stages where they need to first determine whether or not all the equipment conform to safety requirements.
He added that Lynas would be required to apply for a permit for every consignment of rare earth concentrates shipped into Malaysia, allowing the board to keep a close eye on the company's operations in Gebeng.
Abdul Aziz also assured that Lynas would be required to conform with all the conditions under the TOL, including the responsibility to come up with plans for a permanent waste disposal facility (PDF) within 10 months of the TOL's issuance.
Resource: The Star, Page: 18
Date: Saturday, 8 September 2012