KUALA LUMPUR: Entreprenuer Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof has defended the government’s decision to renew Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s licence, saying it was done based on expert opinion and facts.
“There are people saying Lynas is not safe despite the government taking the best practices in renewing its licence.
“We have to look at the independent report, which clearly states that we did not compromise on safety and the environment,” he told reporters after launching National Entrepreneurs Week, to be held from Aug 29 to Sept 1.
“The government has made the report public and we have to strike a balance after this.”
Redzuan said the government had given an assurance that the plant at Gebeng, Kuantan, was safe as long as the conditions imposed were implemented.
Putrajaya agreed to renew Lynas’ operating licence for six months last week, ending speculation on the fate of the rare earths processing plant which had been a subject of contention since the May 9 polls last year.
In a statement, the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB), which comes under the energy, science, technology, environment and climate change ministry, said the renewal was given with several conditions.
It said Lynas must identify a site for a permanent disposal facility (PDF) with written approval from the relevant state government or get official permission from the authorities of any country to transfer its residue there.
The company must also 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 1 becquerel per gramme at its plant.