Sunday, 3 March 2013

Lynas plant one of the safest in the world

The Lynas Advanced Materials Plant in Gebeng has one of the safest facilities compared to similar plants around the world, said White House energy adviser Jack Lifton.

Based on his observation, he said the plant had adhered to guidelines stipulated by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

“I was taken on a tour of the plant on Wednesday to observe its operations.

“The facilities available are up-to-date and meet the requirements of international standard operating procedures.

“This kind of industry is bound to bring in profits and create job opportunities but there will be groups opposing it initially,” he said yesterday at an international seminar on rare earths organised by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia at the Universiti Malaysia Pahang branch campus in Gambang.

Lifton, who has 48 years of experience in the field of lithium and rare earth management, said he was impressed with the facilities at the plant.

“The plant is one of the biggest that I have visited.

“I am confident Malaysia has the potential to be a prime mover in this industry, which was spearheaded by China in the past.

“Let the plant operate for a period of time and once it generates good revenue for the country, then the level of dissatisfaction will gradually decrease,” he said.

Malaysia Nuclear Agency senior research officer Dr Meor Yusoff Meor Sulaiman said thorium and uranium were two main components which caused radioactive emission from rare earth.

“The presence of both components differ from the minerals found at the mining site. This is why the rare earth at the processing plant in Bukit Merah is different from the one in Lynas.

”The Asian Rare Earth factory in Perak is of higher class while the Lynas plant is of lower category, resulting in a vast difference in terms of radioactive compounds,” he said.

Dr Meor Yusoff said failure to channel the right information on the contents and processing techniques resulted in public confusion and misinterpretation.


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