Wednesday, 15 June 2011

04: WHY DO WE NEED TO STOP LYNAS?

THE CASE AGAINST LYNAS

If everything goes as planned, by September this year, the largest rare earth refinery in the worldcalled Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) will start operating in Gebeng Industrial Zone, some 25 km away from Kuantan town, home to almost half a million people. Lynas will import rare earth ores from Mount Weld in Australia to be processed in Gebeng. The finished products will be exported overseas while the radioactive waste dumped in Gebeng. This plant will cast a shadow over Kuantan town. Real estate price will plunge, residents who are able to relocate will flee and those who are not will be in constant fear of radiation exposure.

As soon as operations begin, Lynas Advanced Materials plant will leave behind 28,000 tonnes of solid waste per year. 

SOLID WASTE MATERIAL
3 types of waste from the cracking-separation plant:

Water Leached Purification (WLP)

• The residue from the water leach and neutralisation process
is a slightly acidic filter cake containing Fe2SO4, PO4, SO4
and lesser amount of Ca & Mg and insoluble oxides and
hydroxides of Al, Ca, Si, Mn and rare earths.

Flue Gas Desulphurization Residue (FGD)

• Lime will be used to remove SO2 from waste gas stream and
produce Ca2SO4 solid

Neutralization Underflow Residue (NUF)

• Produced from the neutralisation of a dilute sulfuric acid.




AND WHAT ABOUT RADIOACTIVE WASTE?:

• Impact assessment on the radioactive waste shall be carried out
through Radiological Impact Assessment (RIA) by AELB

• All waste will be stored at the RSF with clay liner and HDPE liner

• Total of 106 tonnes of thorium waste being generated per year.
(base on the EIA figure: 1655ppm x 64,000 tonpa of WLP)

• The radioactivity : 62 Bg/g X 106 ton ?

Thorium

• Thorium decays to produce a chain of Radioactive
daughters, each one emitting radioactive particles
till the stable element Plumbum (lead)
In natural ores, these radioactive elements are in
equilibrium.

• After processing, this state of equilibrium is altered.
Each of the radioactive elements becomes separate
decay series, the radioactive decay is set in perpetual
motion.

• This understanding is important when addressing
total radiological risks.

How does Thorium gets into the environment?

• The waste products from the processing plant :
* liquids – even though treated, suspended and
dissolved Thorium can not be removed

* gas – Radon gas released during crushing and from
continuous decay in waste dump site

* solids – the mill tailings are in the form of fine
powder which may be carried through wind, rain and
underground water into wider environment


A simple illustration by a young Kuantan resident showing how the wastes poses a threat to us. (Click to enlarge)

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4 comments:

  1. corrupt Malaysian politician legalize this. yay! Australia is a really large county, have they ever wondered how come they didn't build it in their own homeland. duhh.

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  2. Please think. If there is a government who willing to trade the country future, trade the country land, trade the people's right, then what is the point we still supporting this kind of government? people stand up, sound and change. We can make it!!

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  3. May I just say something?

    Thorium is Radioactive? True.

    Thorium emits Beta-Radiation? False.

    Thorium Emits Alpha-Radiation? True.

    Yes Thorium emits Radiation. However it only emits Alpha Radiation! Alpha radiation is blocked my all forms of skin! It cannot enter the body, except through direct consumption. On top of this the amount needed to make you sick would be roughly the size of a coconut.

    On top of that, it's half life is around 14 billion years. In the time it takes to break down, its emissions are minimal.

    You stated that Thorium gets into water streams, correct? Yes it can, but it does not readily dissolve in water, it would take 2 years for a piece of Thorium the size of a matchbox to dissolve. the only thing that can dissolve thorium is Hydrochloric Acid. Thorium that gathers in water it readily noticeable and sinks to the bottom of the water due to the fact that it is a heavy metal.

    Thorium can be dangerous if breathed in, yes. HOWEVER in a gas form it is extremely pyrophoric! If ANY spark from a machine, match or even a cigarette was to come into contact with it it would ignite and burn with a considerably bright light comparable to a magnesium strip burning.

    All this is found by my basic knowledge of Chemistry and Physics that i picked up from early HIGH SCHOOL and basic research through the use of Books and Qualified Sources.

    By all means protest about something, but make sure you do your research before you start accusing people of something that you only have basic knowledge about.

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  4. According to the article from Human Health Fact Sheet, August 2005 produced by Argonne National Laboratory, EVS:-
    Of the 26 known isotopes of thorium, only 12 have half-lives greater than one second, and of these only 3 have half-lives
    sufficiently long to warrant a concern. These key isotopes
    decay very slowly by emitting an alpha particle.The half-lives of thorium-232 and thorium-230, the isotopes of most concern, are very long. Their low specific activity means these two isotopes are not highly radioactive. You can read the full article by simply clicking this link
    http://www.evs.anl.gov/pub/doc/Thorium.pdf

    ReplyDelete