Remove radioactive waste now, NGOs and MPs tell Lynas

The NGO’s say the only reason Lynas has not been found to have violated and breached the licence conditions and our law is due to the failure of our regulators in enforcing their mandated roles.

KUALA LUMPUR: Several NGOs and environmental activists today came out in support of the government’s move to impose new conditions on the Lynas rare earths plant in Pahang.

In backing the move by Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin to slap Lynas Corp Ltd with additional licensing conditions, they urged the firm to remove its wastes from Malaysia.

The NGOs include Save Malaysia Stop Lynas, Himpunan Hijau and the Stop Lynas Coalition while the individuals include Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, who is also the MP for Indera Mahkota, and Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh.

They support Yeo’s call for Lynas to remove the Water Leached Purification or WLP waste from Malaysia, deal with its scheduled waste in accordance with the relevant regulations, and to ban any further use of WLP waste in future waste recycling trials.

In a statement issued after a press conference today, they urged Yeo to enforce several clauses in the Environmental Quality Act related to contamination, and to order Lynas to carry out a thorough clean up of sites “contaminated with its Condisoil and possibly other trial products where WLP waste has been added”.

They said: “The only reason Lynas has not been found to have violated and breached the licence conditions and our law is due to the failure of our regulators in enforcing their mandated roles in the interests of Malaysia and Malaysians. We will follow this matter up with the MACC with evidence in due course.”

They urged Lynas CEO Amanda Lacaze to “walk your talk, and be accountable and transparent to your shareholders and to Malaysia”, for the “sake of your reputation and that of Lynas Corporation”.

They said they fully supported the government in enforcing the law, adding that good governance was critical both to promote investors’ confidence and to “facilitate a sustainable development for the benefit of all Malaysians and our environment”.

They also listed out some of the things they said Lynas had failed to do, including “subjecting Malaysians and their environment to its hazards by failing to adhere to its own 2011 Safety Case for Radioactive Waste Disposal LAMP document and recommendations in the two IAEA Mission reports to store its most contaminated WLP waste into a well-engineered facility to isolate it from the biosphere”.