IAEA says Lynas residue very low level waste

13 Jun 2019 / 23:33 H.

PETALING JAYA: The Water Leached Purification residue (WLP) produced by Lynas is classified as very low level waste according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Lynas Radiation Safety, Regulations and Compliance general manage Prof Dr Ismail Bahari said under the 2009 IAEA classification for radioactive waste as very low level waste does not need a high level of containment and isolation.

“It can be stored in landfill type facilities. Lynas has the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) class G licence to temporarily store the WLP on site.” he said in a statement today.

“Additionally, the AELB has previously approved Lynas Malaysia siting plan for a permanent disposal facility.”

He said that the Pakatan Harapan government’s 2018 Executive Review Committee found Lynas Malaysia operations as low risk, compliant with relevant regulations and that its residue storage facilities were operated in a proper manner.

“The review committee also found that Lynas Malaysia had voluntarily taken additional initiatives to comply with other international standards and practices.”

Ismail said the anti-Lynas group was misleading the public to create fear around Lynas’ residues and their storage. The location of Lynas Malaysia which is said to be in a flood-prone area is incorrect.

He said that the magnesium rich synthetic which was produce by the plant, Lynas Neutralisation Underflow (NUF) residue is classified as a Schedule Waste and studies conducted by SIRIM and Golder Associates found that the residue is non-hazardous, non-toxic material and does not show significant health impact on people or risk to the environment.

“In Australia, Synthetic gypsum is not a scheduled waste.”

Ismail added that Lynas Malaysia has conducted research and development for commercialisation of its residues and NUF residue has been show to be able to replace Kieserite which is use in agriculture.

“Pending commercialisation approval, the NUF residue is stored in a specially designed and constructed NUF dry storage facility approved by the Department of Environment under Regulation 9 of Environmental Qualify (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005,“ he said.

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