Opposition failed in move to politicise Lynas issue

THE move to politicise the Lynas plant issue is unsuccessful as it had been granted a two-year temporary operating licence (TOL) by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, in hitting out at the opposition for creating negative perceptions against the plant, said their tactics of speculating harm from its operations should not be entertained any more.

"In fact, businessmen from China who I had a meeting with two weeks ago, had asked if they could process the end products and residues from Lynas.

"They are also willing to build processing plants, worth about RM1 billion, there."

Speaking to reporters after launching the induction week for 1,642 new Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) undergraduates here yesterday, Adnan said the Chinese businessmen would not risk their lives by operating near the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng if the plant was harmful. Pahang National Agenda Federation of Non-governmental Organisations (Daun) coordinator Wan Emril Wan Embong said the TOL issuance was a moral victory for them, who had been supporting LAMP from the start.

"As the representatives of local youth, we will continue to spread the truth about Lynas."

LAMP was issued a temporary operating licence for two years from Sept 3 to Sept 2, 2014 after the AELB was satisfied that Lynas had fulfilled all technical aspects, including the institution of dust control measures, radioactivity immobilisation methodologies in its residue management system and all regulatory requirements.

UMP deputy vice-chancellor (academic and international) Prof Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz said the decision made by the AELB was timely, considering the efforts undertaken by the government to gain accurate facts on LAMP, including the setting up of the Parliament Select Committee.

He said the committee had approved Lynas' safety features, which had been endorsed by local and international experts. "The two-year TOL period will provide the opportunity for Lynas to prove that the plant is safe to both the people and the environment."

Badhrulhisham, a chemical engineering expert, said all parties should help monitor Lynas' operations in its trial run instead of continuing to politicise the issue.

Biophysicist Prof Emeritus Dr Lim Koon Ong said the safety of the plant boiled down to strict monitoring and proper prevention measures.

"When taking X-rays, medical staff are also exposed to radiation, but precautions are taken in the form of wearing protective suits and other steps.

"Even a nuclear power plant can be safe if you take the right precautions."

Lim said it was up to the regulatory authority to carefully monitor the plant's operations and ensure that Lynas fulfilled all the requirements it had promised.

"As the representatives of local youth, we will continue to spread the truth about Lynas." Wan Emril Wan Embong Daun coordinator

Resource: The New Straits Times, Page: 9
Date: Friday, 7 September 2012

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