Facts about Lynas

FACTS ABOUT LYNAS

1 Opposition invoked “emotion and anger” to exploit the fear and phobia of nuclear radioactive after Japan’s Fukushima whereby the incident involves a nuclear reactor unlike Lynas that involves a rare earth processing plant of allowable radioactive level.

2 Opposition leader in the State Assembly, Leong Ngah Ngah from DAP, when attending the briefings on the project for elected representatives in 2009, had also agreed to the construction of the project, and was reported by a Chinese daily as saying that the state government had managed to secure a huge investment from abroad.

3 PAS Hulu Langat Member of Parliament, Dr. Che Rusli who is also an expert on radioactivity had also confirmed that the project is not hazardous and within international management standards.

4 New York Times also wrote that the Lynas plant, which is being built in Gebeng, will house radiation sensors and the latest equipment in pollution control, besides featuring 12 acres of temporary storage pools that will be lined with dense plastic and sit atop nearly impermeable clay, to hold the slightly radioactive by-products until they can be carted away.

5 Japan is the world’s biggest importer of rare earths. And China produces 97% of the world supply. At the height of the diplomatic fracas between China and Japan over a disputed island chain, Beijing used this precious metal to force Japan to come to their terms. This product is becoming an effective weapon.

6 China which produces 97% of the world’s rare earth supply but only hold 30% of the world reserve had previously approved Lynas plan to set up the processing plant but the Chinese government had later imposed export limits on all final products as well as export taxes. This is double taxation. The Chinese government now controls and restricts export of all rare earth materials and also applies import and export taxes of up to 25% specifically for rare earths. Lynas was unwilling to invest in China and then have the export of final products controlled by the Chinese government.

7 Beijing pressured the Japanese technology firms who need rare earths to produce everything from smart phones to Toyota Motor Corp.’s prized hybrid automobile, the Prius. One day after the new customs procedures were introduced, Japan – which depends on China for nearly all of its rare earths – caved in to Beijing’s demand in the fight, releasing the captain of a Chinese fishing boat that rammed two Japanese coast guard vessels near the uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

8 Lynas has committed to place funds with the Malaysian government to ensure safe management of any remaining residue once the plant stops operations.

9 Lynas Corp Ltd had received approvals to build a rare earth refinery in Australia and China but had picked Malaysia as the preferred location given its proximity to market, access to high quality chemicals, utilities and engineering skills. Kuantan Port is strategically located for trade. China’s port is far away and expensive in tax and Australia’s port is neither here nor there in any geographical location.

10 Lynas was granted a 12-year tax break due to their pioneer status such as Amoco and WR GRace. Lynas will promote the influx of supporting industries ; i.e. furniture, chemical product, steel and etc. Money will be trickle down to the community especially retailing and F&B.

11 Lynas has struck a deal with another company to turn the waste product into concrete. The low levels of thorium could be converted into safe byproducts such as cement aggregate for road construction. China is already doing this. (Rare earths contain low-levels of radioactive material)

12 If opposition successfully stop the Lynas plant, the world will lose their confidence in Malaysia as a nation that is incapable of making decisions based on international standards and laws. PM will lose his command and credibility as being unable to give security and confidence to the investors when faced with local political pressure.

13 Lynas site approval came from the International Trade and Industry ministry and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) and not the State Government of Pahang.

14 AELB is an international body which govern the conduct of all nuclear and atomic activities. It has an international radar screen which monitor all the radioactive plant site of which a country is a treaty to it including Malaysia. Malaysia as a signatory party has to followed the required international standard before approving any atomic or nuclear activities.

15 Malaysia is following in the footsteps of Indonesia, Vietnam and Bangladesh which will be operating their first nuclear power plant by 2020. Although Bangladesh was comparatively less industrialised than Malaysia, it evertheless planned to have its nuclear power plant built by 2020.

16 The raw material processed at the Asian Rare Earth Plant in Bukit Merah which used tin mining tailings as its raw material is different from the one uses by Lynas as the former contained high levels of thorium, which was the source of high levels of radiation.

17 Under current regulations, the raw material processed at Bukit Merah could not be processed in Australia, Malaysia or China and by contrast, the Lynas raw material contained naturally low levels of thorium 50 times lower than the tin tailings used by Asian Rare Earth.

18 The employees will be exposed to just 10 per cent of the additional radiation an average person receives in their daily lives, which is less than the exposure to a person getting a medical or dental x-ray once a year (0.39 mSv/year). Referring to Nuklear Malaysia’s report, each person receives an average of 2.4 millisieverts (mSv) of radiation from their natural surroundings annually. The Asian Rare Earth raw material was tin mining tailings which contained high level of thorium, 50 times higher than

19 The raw material that will be used at LAMP. On average, a Lynas worker will receive 2mSv/year (millisievert/ year) of radiation compared with 150 mSv/year received by those who smoke a pack of cigarettes daily or the 9 mSv/year absorbed by airline crew.

20 The radioactive element, thorium, in its raw material from Mount Weld was 50 times lower than those in Bukit Merah. At these levels, exposure to radiation is less than taking a flight on a commercial airline or using a mobile phone. It means you get more radiation exposure by taking a flight or using mobile phone.

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