15.This is how Lynas proposed to temporarily store the solid residues:
- During the operation of LAMP, an onsite residue storage facility (RSF) will be constructed for the storage of the FGD, NUF, and WLP;
- These cells are collectively described as the Residue Storage Facility ( RSF ) and will be utilized for temporary onsite storage of the residues during the operational life of the LAMP.
- Upon plant closure after 20 years, any remaining residue within the RSF will be transported offsite to a permanent disposal facility (PDF) for long term storage . At the time of report (RWMP) preparation (Dec 2011) , the proposed site for the PDF had not been identified.
- The design storage capacity for the RSF is approximately 5 years for each of the respective residue streams, namely, the FGD, NUF and WLP. The RSFs will be constructed in 2 phases. In the first phase, the RSFs will be constructed to cater for a storage capacity of 1.5 years for all 3 residues. In phase 2, the RSFs will be expanded by constructing new engineered cells to cater for an additional 3.5 years worth of storage capacity.
- The total land capacity available at the LAMP site is 5 years worth of production of each of the 3 residues, namely. FGD, NUF and WLP, estimated at 1,635,000 m3.
- Available capacity for Phase I ; 127,000m3 ( 1.5 years of residue storage capacity )
- Available capacity for Phase II ; 1,508,000 m3 ( 3.5 years of residue storage capacity )
- This is based on the projected annual production of 22,500 tonnes of REO.
- LAMP has been in operation for 5 years . The total REO produced over the effective 4 years (LAMP took 9 months to commission before its first production) added up to 44,274 tonnes , a mere 56% of its targeted capacity.
16. This is what they presented to our authorities on the management of the residues :
-" Based on the promising outcome of research on the commercialization of the 3 residues, Lynas assumes that FGD and NUF will be sold (removed off site ) after obtaining approval from the DOE on the re-use of these 2 streams within 6 months of operation. Therefore , all storage capacity available under Phase 1 will be consumed by the WLP residue by month 21." ( From RWMP report)
- This is not happening. After 5 years of operation, Lynas is still struggling to find a solution to the increasing quantities of the 3 streams of solid residues generated each day despite their claims that research on the reuse of the NUF and FGD started since 2009)
- "Beyond month 21, the WLP residue will be stored within the capacity made available for the second phase which will be sufficient until month 200 (17 years) on wet basis (or 20 years on dry basis). "
- Will the 'Condisoil" help save the day? Obviously with the formula they proposed and experimented on by mixing the WLP; FGD and NUF in the ratio of 1 :2 :7, the proposed need to store the remaining unused residues in a PDF will still be needed especially for the balance WLP)
- "In the unlikely event that the WLP is not able to be commercialized, these residue streams will be stored onsite within the RSF. As the maximum design storage capacity of the RSF is approached, the radioactive residue (WLP) will be removed from the site in campaigns to the PDF approval by AELB. Lynas proposes to initiate the site selection exercise for the PDF after two years of operation or earlier, as deemed necessary"
- (It has been stated in RWMP that the plan was to locate the PDF in the state of Pahang. Of course this is subject to the approval of the regulating authorities and the state government. But until this date Lynas has yet to declare openly they have found a suitable site for the PDF.)
- Now with hyped 'Condisoil' project, it is to be expected that the PDF issue will be put in the back burner for sometime to come.
- Recently there were reports that the certain industry was approached to utilize the FGD / NUF residues as an input for their product . This was turned down despite earnest efforts to convince the industry players that the two residues have been removed from the regulatory control as scheduled waste thus safe to be used as a component of their product.
- The latest was the issue raised by Kuantan MP YB Fuziah in the current Parliamentary sitting that LAMP's residues are to be used to rehabilitate the hollowed-out land in Bukit Goh as a result of bauxite mining.
-It is now clear that frantic efforts are in progress to find a sustainable use for the residues churned out by LAMP.
17. This is what they told our regulating authorities how the residues are to be turned into Synthetic Mineral Products (SMP) :
- "Research & Development efforts are ongoing for the development of the SMPs from the three residue streams, FGD, NUF and WLP."
- Key products or applications of focus are:
• Synthetic gypsum for plaster board manufacture;
• Gypsum for cement manufacture;
• Gypsum materials for road base formulation;
• Mg gypsum fertilizers for plantations, corps, and soil remediation; and
• Carbon-enriched Mg gypsum fertilizer will potential to rejuvenate BRIS and acidic soils.
- It even provided the time frames for commercialization of products :
FGD - Synthetic Gypsum
2012 -Qualify Product with customer
- Commission Drying Plant and commence FGD sales in Q4 2013 -100% sales of FGD
- Evaluate feasibility of reclaiming FGD from Storage Facility
- Trial addition into Fertiliser to supplement NUF 2014-2015
- FGD may go into Fertiliser for better return
NUF - Mg Rich Gypsum 2012
-Fertiliser – Soil Conditioner
• Q1 – Lab Granulation Trials & Post Studies completed
• Q4 – Granulation Pilot Trials & Field Studies
• Q3 – Supply contracts locked in for MgCaSO4 granule
• Carbon feasibility completed
• Register Projects for Carbon Credits 2013 -
• Q1 – Start-up MgCaSO4 plant and sales to Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia
• Extensive field trials with Carbon Mg gypsum with end-users
• Lock in Lols with Carbon Mg gypsum End-Users
• Q4 Initiate carbonization (pyrolysis) project with key partners 2014-2015
• Start-up on Carbon Mg gypsum product
• Continue with MgCaSO4 granule but increasingly switch to carbon product
• Farming and sell carbon credits WLP-IPG ( Iron Phospho Gypsum)2012-2012
-• Construction Material R&D: formulation testing for road base and paver manufacture 2013
• Strength improvement in concrete products
• WLP granulation
• Demonstration projects for applications:
> Road construction
> Pre-cast Interlocking pavers
> Concrete Products
• Ongoing demonstration followed by commercialization
What an impressive description and plans to turn all the residues into SMPs!
Our government is either totally ignorant of what others before Lynas has failed to utilize similar wastes ( residues ) and turn them into industrial ' byproducts' or helping to justify Lynas' presence here by allowing thousands of tonnes of radioactive wastes to be generated and deposited on our land?
Let's see what others had said about phospho gypsum from FGD :
"Some types of FGD gypsum are generally considered unsuitable for use in gypsum board due to potential environmental hazards; for example, phosphogypsum may contain radon and radio nuclides.
Members of the Gypsum Association do not use phosphogypsum to manufacture any gypsum-based product"
FGD and NUF contain radionuclides and are thus unsuitable for recycling into gypsum boards. This is perhaps why Lynas has not brought up the subject again since they began operating.