Lynas: The Exit Strategy

I hope this will be the last article I will write on Lynas issue. I am hoping that both sides able to sit together and get this matter over with as soon as possible.

As mentioned earlier, please find below a reply from Professor Ismail on the exit plan in the event Lynas run, cannot comply with rules and has to be closed down.

If you are technically equipped, please do comment on the exit plan.

To address plant closure, Lynas has developed the Conceptual Decommissioning Plan that aims at placing a facility or site into such a condition that the decommissioned facility poses no unacceptable environmental radiological hazard to the public, the workers and the environment

Prior to decommissioning, a set of criteria will be established to ensure that the decommissioning of the plant and its operations; and disposal of the radioactive residue are carried out in an acceptable manner without unacceptable risk to workers and the general public.

The criteria will be established by Lynas and submitted to the AELB and relevant technical agencies for approval. In developing the criteria, input data will be obtained from the facility characterization and site characterization studies, the safety assessment and the environmental assessment of the decommissioning operation.

The key criteria will consist of, but not limited, to the following:

        Compliance with applicable laws, regulations and guidelines, in particular LEM/TEK/56 Guideline (or the superseded document at the time of decommissioning) which aims to ensure the site is restored to the condition approved by AELB upon completion of the validation and prior to its release;

        Clean-up criteria for the site;

        Release criteria for restricted and unrestricted use of the site;

        Release criteria for restricted and unrestricted release of the building materials, facility‟s equipment and components, soils and rocks; and

        Disposal of radioactive and non-radioactive wastes.

Decommissioning Strategy

The following activities will be considered as part of the decommissioning plan:

        Dismantling and decontamination of plant equipment;

        Decommissioning of associated facilities and utilities;

        Closure of the RSF;

        Removal of any radioactive residue remaining in the RSF;

        Off-site transportation and disposal of the residue at an approved permanent disposal site;

        Consideration of exposure pathways for employees, public and the environment;

        Rehabilitation and re-vegetation of site and adjacent land;and

        Post-closure monitoring to demonstrate the adequacy of decommissioning procedures.

Any radioactive residue remaining at the time of decommissioning will be disposed at a dedicated permanent storage site to be determined by Lynas and approved by the AELB and the Pahang State Government.

The following principles will be applied in the decommissioning of the RSF:

        At closure, all contaminated residue will be removed from RSF to an off-site permanent disposal site approved by the AELB (and other relevant technical agencies).

        A layout using cellular design maintaining separation of the three residue streams and capped at the end of the project has been proposed. This will satisfy the condition of accessibility to the stored residue materials in the event that sale of the materials becomes economically viable in the future.

        Appropriate engineering controls will be provided so that residual radioactive material at the site will not diffuse into the environment creating long-term contamination.

        Facilities and procedures need to be in place for the monitoring and control of groundwater contamination and release of radioactive dust and radon into the atmosphere.

        Surface profiling should be such as to avoid undesirable hydro-geological effects such as erosion.

        It is desirable that any vegetation planted at the LAMP site post-closure does not have deep root systems that penetrate through the topsoil and reach the residue. This may potentially result in the uptake of radionuclides that will be unacceptable from a radiation protection point of view due to the possible consumption of these plants by fauna

Sent from

Ismail’s iPad2

Nuclear Science Program
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

This e-mail was sent on 20th October 2011, a few days after a session of questions and answers with Lynas.

Frankly, I am no expert in this area, but what I do know, there are a lot of ways radiation can be caused, even from our handphone and television.

My approach for this issue is to ask both sides and see how they responded. I am fortunate that Lynas is not hostile and able to cooperate.

Yes, to some, perhaps they are trying to get support they can get, but so do those against Lynas. Both are trying to gain support for their effort and cause. However, this is not a war of barbarians with no brainer. This is an issue consist of professionals who have knowledge and expertise.

I may look like incline to Lynas because they are cooperative enough. From what I can see, they get the right approach and approval. IAEA and radiation is not a small matter. Any miscalculation or disastrous events will be a catastrophic not just to local community, but to the whole nation.

I do hope someone can make a very good argument (with good manners) on these logic:

  1. If Lynas is subjected to Basel Convention under United Nations and approval from authorities including IAEA (and they got it), can this shows that the radiation level is acceptable and not as disastrous as described by those against Lynas?
  2. YB Fuziah said Malaysia is FORCED to accept IAEA standards. So what standard is better than IAEA?
  3. What about other chemical companies that have not being blasted? Surely they have radiation and mechanism on how to handle them.. in which, I believe Lynas also has.

This blog is open for comments, but do it in a healthy way. So far, as readers may see, there are some who is not able to rationalize arguments and harsh in giving thoughts.

Question on the street: Have you ever thought the radiation level surrounding you right now, even though you are not at a plant?


7 thoughts on “Lynas: The Exit Strategy

  1. This blog is but another Lynas’ construct to distort the truth and the real danger and risk of the LAMP!

    We are no fools mate! If IAEA is so good, there won’t be so many nuke accidents and fallouts… that syas it all so just pack up and get back to mt Weld!

    1. OK.. I’m hearing (as the same as to YB Fuziah)..

      SO, what standard do you recommend for all plants including Lynas to adhere in relation to radiation? We cannot double standard on this issue, right?

      Thank you

  2. “On Da Street”, you don’t even bother to read the short article about low level radiation and the role of IAEA, let alone to research on other aspects related to the hazardous Lynas LAMP. Why ask a few 140 words stupid questions on Twitter openly to YB Fuziah by writing Pro-Lynas articles, when you are not even equip with the basic knowledge? Malaysian is not born yesterday, I don’t want to label you, let you label yourself if you still have conscience.

  3. Jade and Joyce Lee, i hope you guys are not a twin!
    well, just give him the answer he wanted.
    is that so difficult?
    or u guys dont understand plain English?

  4. Hi Ondastreet i notice you were having a debate with Tom Chan with regards to radiation. Tom’s statement with regards to “Bcause lynas said tht their radiation is lower than those we absorb” is FACTUALLY WRONG and misleading . Lynas proper claims are “The employees will be exposed to just 10 per cent of the ADDITIONAL radiation an average person receives in their daily lives, which is less than the exposure to a person getting a medical or dental x-ray once a year (0.39 mSv/year). Referring to Nuklear Malaysia’s report, each person receives an average of 2.4 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation from their natural surroundings annually. The Asian Rare Earth raw material was tin mining tailings which contained high level of thorium, 50 times higher than the raw material that will be used at LAMP. On average, a Lynas worker will receive 2mSv/year (millisievert/ year) of radiation compared with 150 mSv/year received by those who smoke a pack of cigarettes daily or the 9 mSv/year absorbed by airline crew. Please refer to this websites for more proper facts about Lynas.

You are part of people on the street. My opinion might not as good as yours. Come, please share your thoughts with us!!!

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