Current news : Rare earth plant. Are you aware?

Friday, March 25, 2011
Assalamu'alaikum my dear friends!

Do you know.... bout rare earth plant?
Have you heard about it??

Oh.. NOooo??

Oh, please. The issue is very popular nowadays.
How on earth you don't know this rare earth plant?

Ok, never mind. Everyone must be busy preparing for university life, right?
Or else, busy with homeworks ^.^
It's normal as student ;)

However actually,we must try to get know our surrounding... =)
because we will lead the future, one day...
is it right?

Huhu..ok me, stop babling.. focus on the jist..

ok, hereby i attached a online news entry..
please have a read everybody!

Tell all on Lynas plant, says ex-government geologist

March 22, 2011
A view at the entrance of the intended Lynas plant in Gebeng. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 — Both the Malaysian government and Australian miner Lynas must come clean and address the “many unanswered questions” about the RM700 million rare earth plant being built in Kuantan, a former senior government geologist said yesterday.
A former director of geochemistry for the Geological Survey of Malaysia (GSM) also said that a lack of transparency meant that it was difficult for third-parties with technical expertise to offer their opinion on the possible environmental hazards of the refinery.
“There are too many questions with no answers,” Wong Yew Choong told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.
Wong said that he had conducted the radiation survey for GSM, now part of the Mineral and Geoscience Department, in the late 1980s for the Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant in Bukit Merah that eventually closed down in 1992 after sustained public protests.
Nearly two decades later, the plant is still undergoing an RM303 million cleanup exercise after being linked to at least eight cases of leukaemia in the local community, seven which have resulted in death.
The construction of the plant proper can be seen from a distance. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Lynas is hoping to begin operations in the Gebeng industrial zone by September, putting it on track to compete with China, which controls 95 per cent of the rare earth market.
It is anticipating a windfall of RM8 billion a year from 2013 onwards from the rare earth metals that are crucial to the manufacture of high-technology products such as smartphones, hybrid cars and bombs.
But alarm in Japan over potential radiation leaks from nuclear plant explosions caused by the recent tsunami, coupled with a recent New York Times (NYT) report highlighting the radioactive waste produced in the rare earth refining process, has revived fears and debate on the issue.
Stakeholders also say that information has been hard to come by as Lynas has only met residents once in late 2008, although the company said that it also engaged the Pahang government, the authorities and a limited group of stakeholders in July 2009.
The Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) has insisted that the project is not yet fully approved even though construction has begun and the factory also does not require a detailed environmental impact assessment (EIA) but only a preliminary one, which does not need to be made available to the public.
Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh speaks at a gathering with concerned citizens over the weekend in regards to the proposed plant. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Wong said that this appeared to be “government secrecy in not letting the public know details when the project is already ongoing.”
“The public should be able to get a third opinion, not from the government or Lynas, on all the technical aspects,” he said, citing such details as the type of rare earth deposit Lynas was mining and methods of waste storage and disposal.
Lynas has repeatedly stressed that the rare earth ore to be refined in Gebeng has only two per cent of the radioactive element, thorium, that was present in the raw material used in Bukit Merah.
However, Wong noted that the NYT article said that the plant will process ten times the amount of rare earth and so would still result in a large amount of radioactive waste.
“While I doubt the claim that their raw material will only have 0.16 per cent thorium content, that will still be a huge amount of thorium if they intend on eventually processing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of raw material,” he said.
A marker on site of all those involved in getting the site up. — Picture by Choo Choy May
He said that the danger of radiation would continue to grow from the accumulated waste and also dust that will escape during the refining process.
“This dust is very fine and can float in the air no matter how carefully you bag the waste and store it. Once breathed in, it doesn’t stop giving out radiation because the half-life is thousands of years,” he said.
“The more you breathe in, the more radiation you get and it accumulates. So you can’t see the effects until much later,” Wong added, referring to the Bukit Merah cancer cases coming over two decades since the ARE plant began operations.
Lynas has said that it plans to process the thorium residue into an industrial material for road-builidng but that has not yet been finalised.
Environmentalists and residents in Kuantan have been asking for details such as this from Lynas and local authorities.


so... what say you?
are you happy?

Please think about our future 
our family, big family, friends, comrades, and everyone.
include all lovely animals and delicate flora.

Share your thoughts! 
What do u think?
Are you aware? :)



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