Lynas to still submit application before starting experimental

DENGKIL: Lynas Corporation Ltd (Lynas) still has to submit an application before starting its experimental production of rare earth concentrates even after having acquired the temporary operating license from the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

AELB director-general, Datuk Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, said, the application should be submitted even if the experimental run would not involve any items containing radioactive materials.

"Every operation at the Lynas plant must be reported and approved, we will monitor all activities that occur in the plant," he said in a Kledia briefing here yesterday.

He said Lynas' operation would also be monitored 24 hours per day by four nuclear science officers stationed at the plant in Gebeng.Lynas must also ensure that the experimental production process would run smoothly without any leakage or other problems, as they would cause the company to be penalised and hence, suffer losses.

"Violation of the conditions of the temporary operating license can cause Lynas to be penalised, its license suspended or terminated depending on the nature of the offense," he said.

Raja Abdul Aziz said Lynas should also invite the public, as well as representatives of non-governmental organisations and the media, to witness the experimental production process to prove that the company would operate in a transparent manner.

However, the AELB has yet to receive any applications concerning the experimental production of rare earth concentrates from Lynas, he said.

AELB had issued temporary operating license to Lynas for the period of two years with effect from Sept 3,2012 after being satisfied that Lynas had complied with all the technical aspects, including dust control methods, radioactivity immobilization methodologies in its residue and legal requirements.

The board also took note that Lynas had made a commitment to export the Water Leach Purification (WLP) residue out of Malaysia in the form of commercial products.

For the record, Lynas chose to operate in Malaysia because of its cheaper production costs compared to Australia while China had tightened export of the product. Lynas too had obtained licences to build the factory in the two countries. - Bernama

Resource: New Sabah Times, Page: 5
Date: Saturday, 8 September 2012

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