PUTRAJAYA: The operating licence of Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd has been renewed by six months, said the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) yesterday.
The operating licence of Lynas was earlier extended for three years from 2016 to Sept 2 this year.
The renewal of Lynas’ operating license in Gebeng, Kuantan this time came with several major conditions.
AELB in a statement said among the conditions imposed on the rare earth factory was the transfer of its cracking and leaching process to another country and the construction of a permanent disposal facility (PDF).
“Lynas is also required to submit its plan for the construction of the cracking and leaching process overseas to transfer the process now being carried out at its plant in Gebeng out of Malaysia,” said AELB.
According to AELB, the oversea cracking and leaching facility should be built and commenced operation in four years from the date of the licence.
“After the cracking and leaching facility has started operation overseas, the license holder will no longer be allowed to produce radioactive residue above one Becquerel per gramme at its plant in Gebeng,” said AELB.
AELB said Lynas is also required to identify a specific site to build the PDF and to submit the written approval from the state government for the use of the site as PDF.
“The licence holder has to also submit a complete PDF construction plan as well as the official written approval from the authorities of the country which allowed the water leach purification (WLP) residues to be taken to the country,” he said.
AELB said Lynas must also terminate all research and development activities on WLP radioactive residue as condition for agriculture.
Lynas was also required to allocate 0.5% of its gross sales each year for research and development to the Malaysian government as an additional deposit until the cracking and leaching facility in another country begins operation, said the board.
AELB said the conditions were decided after the Australian federal government and the Western Australian state government told Malaysia that they would not accept any Lynas WLP radioactive residues back into the country.
The conditions were decided based on the recommendations of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant Operations Evaluation Executive Committee in its report in November 2018, it said.
“The construction of PDF should be expedited to minimise the piles of accumulated WLP radioactive residue now amounting to more than 580,000 tonnes at its residue storage facility (RSF) which is exposed to natural disaster such as a major flood,” said AELB.
AELB said it would monitor and ensure the construction and operations of the PDF are according to international standards. — Bernama