Friday, 6 April 2012

AELB - A watchdog or a running dog for Lynas?

Press statement of Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) dated April 6, 2012


AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan

SMSL is appalled by the number of approvals granted by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) for the Lynas project.  It took a court action to force the AELB director-general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan to reveal the three licences approved by the AELB to date.
In an affidavit to the Kuala Lumpur High court, Raja Aziz conceded that a Class E licence for importing raw materials and a Class G licence for the storage of residues had already been approved by the AELB on 30th January 2012, on top of the Class A temporary operating licence. Rakyat were deceived.
“How could a licence for the storage of residues be approved when Lynas’ proposed waste disposal plan is unsafe and a permanent waste disposal facility for its radioactive waste has not even been found?  Asked spokesperson of SMSL, Mr Tan Bun Teet.
“How can we trust the AELB as a regulator and a nuclear watchdog when it has not come clean with such basic information? “

According to the FAQ of the official website of the AELB
“Lynas will need to submit the detailed plan and location for the PDF within 10 months upon the issuance of the TOL. Even though Lynas has claimed that there will be no wastes produced since all residues will be commercialized, recycled and reused, the regulatory authorities have insisted that Lynas still has to provide details of a proposed PDF which will then be subject to a separate license application and approval.
After issuance of the TOL, Lynas needs to apply for a permit to import the concentrated ores.”
AELB has blatantly deceived the public through its FAQ since the import permit was approved on the 30th January, the same time as the TOL.

Haji Ismail Abu Bakar, another regular spokesperson for SMSL remarked,
“Clearly, our nuclear watchdog has failed in its duty of care. We have to act as citizens to protect our family and to make sure Malaysia has a safe and clean future.  That is why residents and NGOs have thrown their weight behind SMSL and the opposition parties to stop the Lynas project.”
Raja Aziz has also contradicted himself when he announced to the press that a company from the UK has been identified to carry out an audit of the Lynas plant[1].  Earlier in February, he told journalist Kiera Butler from the US Mother Jones magazine that an unnamed engineer has already certified that the plant was safe.[2]
The massive amount of waste from the Lynas refinery plant in Gebeng risks polluting our air, water and land. Ultimately our food chain risks being contaminated with radioactive and other toxic substances which will become serious public health hazards and economic impediments leading to financial losses to local residents and Malaysia as a whole.
SMSL has engaged a strong team of experts and witnesses to prepare for legal actions both in Malaysia and in Australia, with the help of the Pahang Bar Council and public interest lawyers.  A public appeal for funds is now underway.
Mr Tan and Haji Ismail appealed to the public,
“We have strong grounds and we want to leave no stone unturned to present the strongest possible legal cases.  Letting Lynas to operate is NOT an option.”
“It may be costly to take up legal actions. It will be cheaper than gambling our life and our country’s future with Lynas’ waste.  We urge all responsible citizens of Malaysia to do their part to keep Malaysia safe and clean.  Please donate generously to our legal fund.”





[2] http://www.cbc.ca/video/news/audioplayer.html?clipid=2216790639 or http://motherjones.com/environment/2012/02/rare-earths-lynas-malaysia

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