Archive for the ‘rare earths’ Category

Malaysian standards for radioactive waste products are laxer than the Australian standards

December 14, 2012

Why should we allow anything less in terms of safety standards than Australia? Does the BN government feel that the Australian Government is being too fussy? Or that Malaysians can take more radiation than the Australians?

The Anti-Lynas movement: Are we being unreasonable? – Jeyakumar Devaraj, The Malaysian Insider , 13 Dec 12  Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj is a PSM central committee member and MP for Sungai Siput.“……..Vastly Differing Standards  First, a brief overview of the industrial process of separating the rare earths from the rest of the ore.

Lynas actually has the license to operate a refining plant in Australia itself. Lynas acquired this license upon buying over Aston, the company that owned the mine in Mount Weld. In the mid 1990s, Ashton applied for a license to refine the ore, and in the process of consultations with the public in the region, agreed to a set of specific performances. If Lynas wants to use the refining license that came with the purchase of Ashton, it is committed to observing all the procedures agreed to by Ashton earlier.The table below compares requirements that Lynas would have to observe in Australia with the requirements for it in Malaysia.

The government has said in Parliament that Lynas is keen on operating a plant here because the total cost in Malaysia is only 30 per cent of the cost of refining the ore in Australia! (Despite the fact that it has to be transported from Mount Weld to Freemantle Port, loaded on ships and then brought some 4000 km to Kuantan for refining!) That means safety precautions in Malaysia are so much more lax than those required in Australia. (more…)

Lynas’ s problems with radioactive waste in Malaysia

September 17, 2012

Lynas left holding the baby,  Aliran,   14 September 2012 If Lynas Corporation thinks that Western Australia will take its radioactive waste, it can think again, asserts Robin Chapple. Lynas has now submitted an application to the regulator, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), to import radioactive waste from Malaysia,” an Australian High Commission spokesman told The Malaysian Insider today.

This revelation beggars belief as just a few days ago a two-year temporary licence to operate was granted to Lynas, who intend to ship radioactive ores through Fremantle Port to export them to their plant in Malaysia, now seem to be asserting that they should be able to import the wastes of those ores back onto Australian soil.

Malaysia’s nuclear regulator Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) had said that the Australian miner was legally bound to remove radioactive waste from its Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) and return the residue to Australia under conditions of the temporary operating licence.

However, this news flies in the face of Australian government policy, and indeed Western Australian legislation, which asserts that Australia does not accept or import radioactive waste from other countries.

Robin Chapple MLC, Greens spokesperson for Mining Issues, commented on Lynas’ recent move: “It seems that again Lynas thinks it is outside the law as it is operating in Malaysia, and may be subject to less rigorous legal scrutiny. Well, it isn’t, and if it thinks that Western Australia will take this radioactive waste, it can think again.

“It didn’t consult with community on shipping its radioactive ores through Fremantle port, and it certainly hasn’t consulted on shipping back the radioactive waste. The WA Nuclear Waste Storage (Prohibition) Act 1999 prohibits it here. Period!

But really, you have to laugh. Lynas has now been tripped up by its own lack of willingness to take heed of Australia’s expectations with respect to sustainable mining and environmental, social and legal standards, and hasn’t it got it’s come-uppance. Talk about being left holding the baby!…    http://aliran.com/10198.html

Renewable energy development requires smarter management of rare earths – recycling

July 11, 2012

Recycling Rare Earths Stop Lynas, 11 July 12, “…….We know that human induced climate change is a fact. Solutions to cut carbon emissions include energy efficiency, hybrid cars and renewable technologies like wind power which all need rare earths. But it is a dangerous path we are on when we continue with the ‘business as usual’ moto – instead we must continue to challenge the influence of governments and corporations that do not take people’s needs into account by protecting human rights and the environment for future generations.

One partial solution to the negative impacts of rare earth mining and processing would be to reduce consumption and increase the reuse and recycling rates of rare earth elements. Currently the recycling rate for most rare earth metals is around 1% or less . Japan is exploring increased recycling of rare earths  fromelectronic waste . If the price of the final materials included the true social and environmental costs of rare earth mining, the incentive to recycle and dig up less would increase.

We must be concerned not only with how our use of rare earths contributes to their depletion, but also how pollution from the production, processing and use of rare earths should be considered in the context of our use – particularly because rare earths are recyclable.           http://stoplynas.org/recycle-rare-earths/


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