The Malaysian government is under pressure to construct a plant in Australia heavy metals. Opponents want to stop this project that could endanger the health of local communities.
Even if the Australian mining company Lynas and the Malaysian government claim that the waste is safe and that they will be stored securely, not everyone agrees. Indeed, during the purification process of heavy metals, thorium is produced, it eventually produces radioactive decay, which raises many concerns.
These rare metals are mined in Port Weld in Western Australia and will then be sent to Malaysia in the industrial city of Gebeng, 250 km north of Kuala Lumpur. If it goes ahead, this plant will be the second largest of its kind in the world.
There is a growing demand for items such as neodymium, scandium and cerium are used mainly to manufacture modern displays, cell phones and LEDs.
According to Lynas, waste products will be only weakly radioactive. The waste will be stored in special containers and durable and stored near the plant until a permanent solution is found. (WTF!) Sensitive dosimeters would measure the radioactivity of these containers.
But Fuziah Salleh, a member of the town of Kuantan and one of the driving forces of protestors, these measures are far from sufficient: "Malaysia is not a dumping ground for radioactive waste in Australia, is for them to handle these wastes! ".
Malaysia has already suffered the consequences of such plant. Thirty years ago, another manufacturer of heavy metals in the village of Bukit Merah, was forced to close its doors after the birth of an impressive number of deformed babies and leukemia.
According to Lynas, the new plant will use ore fifty times less dangerous than that of Bukit Merah, but for opponents, things are clear: Lynas has chosen Malaysia as environmental standards are less stringent than in Australia.
Lynas is justified by explaining that Gebeng port is ideally located and where water is available in sufficient quantity, not to mention the large number of skilled workers ... Lynas hopes to obtain a permit in September. (CA)
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Related news today from Malaysian Insider :
“Lynas has also agreed to place funds with the Malaysian government to ensure safe management of any remaining residues as required by the AELB,” the Australian miner told The Malaysian Insider in a statement.