18. The plans and time frames described in my last posting on the reuse of the residues would virtually give all stakeholders and residents of Kuantan an assurance that everything would be well and good . That piece of information was displayed for public review in Dec 2011.
It is now 2017. As can be seen none of that planned and described had culminated in the commercialization of the residues. They did tried but non seemed to be commercially viable!.
When the Temporary Operating License (TOL) was due for renewal, they had revised the RWMP with a claim " they are seeking approval from the authorities to build an experimental road with the WLP residues for demonstration and assessment! "
They have also stated that " they had gained the approval from a customer and is preparing to make the first commercial export of Neutralization Underflow (NUF) product. Negotiation are ongoing for further commercial shipments. Lynas has also finalized the specifications for three granulated products for use in broad-acre trials!"
In July this year we paid a visit to the Pahang DOE and was informed that Lynas had formulated a soil conditioner called 'Condisoil" with FGD and NUF residues. They planned to start its production on commercial scale at the end of the month but for some reasons unknown it was shelved or aborted. Then came the controversial claim by Lynas that a new 'Condisoil" with the inclusion of WLP in its formulation had already been approved for use by the authorities concerned. This was disputed by Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh based on the answer she obtained in Parliament from the Minister of MOSTI.
As ca be seen all those original plans designed for the recycling of LAMP's residues into Synthetic Materials Products did not materialize. The final practical way to recycle them would be to dilute and water down the radioactivity of the WLP residues with the addition of the other two residues. Killing 3 birds with one stone!!!
What great efforts in their research!
They revealed that the research so far had costed them RM7 million!
You might have a nagging suspicion that were the plans drawn up specifically for the authorities concerned to " facilitate" the approval of their Milling A license (TOL)? How could they propose to recycle the three categories of residues into various commercial industrial products when they had not started operating?
This is why our country is a safe haven for fugitive industries that were disallowed to be built in their countries of origin !
Are we looking at more polluting industries of this nature coming to our shores?
19. As can be seen despite all the proposed plans by Lynas to recycle the three categories of solid residues according to their time frames, they ended up in a single recycled product called "Condisoil". And according to feedback from our MP, SIRIM has given its nod and it is now under the purview of the DOE.
A brief recap on the original recycling intent or plan for each of the solid residues will help understand better the whole issue on recycling of residues produced by LAMP.
Based on reports of the research conducted, WLP was intended for road base or interlocking block pavers.
The NUF with its Mg content is more suited to be turned into a soil conditioner to improve degraded or infertile soils.
The FGD has been identified as a suitable material for the manufacture of plaster board and cement.
After the visit by IAEA Review team in 2014,the two solid residues NUF and FGD with radioactivity below 1 Bq/g were dropped from the regulatory control of AELB . They were classified as clear waste and placed under the DOE's purview. This is why during our visit to the state DOE office, we were told by the Director that the Condisoil (1) experiment conducted used only FGD and NUF.
One may ask why WLP was not included in the formulation of Condisoil (1) then. Its simple. WLP has a radioactivity of 7.98 Bq/g ( from The Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences, Vol 18 No1(2014):221-225) thus is placed under the regulatory control of AELB!
This also explains why the new formulation of "Condisoil (2)" has a combination ratio of 1 part WLP, 2 parts of NUF and 7 parts of FGD! The main 'plot' (scheme) behind this combination is to ensure that the resultant mix will have a radioactivity reading of less than 1 Bq/g so that it too could be removed from the regulatory control of AELB. It could then be allowed to be used for municipal landfills or in this case a non toxic, non radioactive soil conditioner!
21. How much in total the solid residues that will be generated by LAMP which is designed to operate for 8000 hrs (333.33 days X 24 hr) per year for 20 years?
Answer : 5,864,240 tonnes (dry weight)
Translated into wet weight the total will be 10,471,857 tonnes.
Before they could be 'recycled' ,sufficient storage space would have to be found to keep them ( currently behind the plant) while observing the regulatory requirements under the newly promulgated ( after the public hearing by IAEA team in May 2011) Atomic Energy Licensing (Radioactive Waste Management) Regulations, 2011 which came into force on the 16th of August 2011.
Wonder if should the residues generated quickly exceeded the recycling capacity and storage space available, a repeat of incidents like what took place in the ARE 30 years ago will befall the destiny of Kuantan and folks around Balok?