Don’t help Lynas with permanent disposal facility, MP urges Pahang govt

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh says Pahang ‘should not continue to bear the burden’ of Lynas.

PETALING JAYA: Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has called on the Pahang government not to allow Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd to establish a permanent disposal facility (PDF) to store its water leach purification (WLP) residue as it will create problems and dangers.

Fuziah said the space required by Lynas would be “100 times more” than the Asia Rare Earth facility at Bukit Merah, Perak, adding that Lynas had produced 1 million tonnes of scheduled waste and 500,000 metric tonnes of radioactive WLP residue to date.

“In four years, radioactive WLP residue will increase exponentially,” she said.

According to her, the radioactive waste contains thorium which has a lifespan of 14 billion years.

Fuziah reiterated her stance that Lynas’ operating licence should be cancelled and applications for a PDF site should be rejected, although no application has been made yet.

“It is enough that the state has borne the burden of Lynas before this, we should not continue to bear this burden,” she said.

This comes after Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin said her ministry will work with the Pahang government to find a suitable site for the PDF.

Zuraida told reporters that as a member of the Cabinet, she had to follow its decision.

Last week, Putrajaya decided to renew the operating licence for the Lynas rare earths plant at Gebeng, Kuantan, by six months on certain conditions.

Among others, it said the company must identify a PDF with written approval from the relevant state government, or get official permission from the authorities of any country to transfer its residue there.

It also said that Lynas must build its cracking and leaching facility outside Malaysia within four years of the renewal, after which it would not be allowed to produce radioactive residue exceeding one becquerel per gramme at its plant.

Earlier today, Pahang Menteri Besar Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail said Lynas had not submitted a formal application for a specific location to set up a PDF in the state.

He said that if an application was received, the priority of the state government would be the people’s safety, adding that “on that part we are very clear”.