NTN MEDIA RELEASE
17 April 2012
|www.ntn.org.au working globally for a toxic free future|
“Environmental contamination from the Lynas Malaysian plant is inevitable. Radiation, groundwater, atmospheric and river pollution are our key concerns. This refinery would be unlikely to be approved if it were proposed in Australia” National Toxics Network (NTN) said today.
These findings feature in a new research report released today. The report assesses the potential emissions from the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant already under construction in Kuantan, Malaysia.
“Close scrutiny of company documents and international literature demonstrates that the plant is about to commence operations in an inappropriate location. There are inadequate engineering controls and pollution from the plant will be inevitable,” said the report’s author Lee Bell.
“The refinery site is swampy, unstable, and subject to monsoonal flooding which raises major concerns for radioactive waste disposal,” Mr Bell said.
“It will be practically impossible to control the radioactive waste under these conditions. The site receives 3 metres of rainfall a year and only 1 metre of evaporation”.
“The waste disposal areas will flood and drain into the Balok River carrying radioactive contamination. There are already reports that the tailings ponds are flooded and production hasn’t even started yet.’ Bell said
‘The Malaysian regulators appear to have applied the poorest waste-water regulations. They will allow significant contamination of the Balok River. Many of the chemicals that will be released to the river are not even identified in the regulations.”
“These lax environmental controls would prevent this refinery receiving approval in Australia. Why aren’t Malaysian citizens and their environment entitled to the same protection as Australians?’ Bell concluded.