Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lynas: The Myth of Converting the Radioactive Waste

It's reported in Malaysiakini today that Science Technology and Innovation Minister Maximus Johnity Ongkili said that the waste streams may be able to be converted into synthetic aggregates which emit only low-level radiation and it is an "innovative" option by the Lynas [1]. He continued to say that "Don't politicize the matter. We are smart enough, we are not stupid people lah. We run this country based on international standards.” [1].  

Let's see now if he is really smart enough and genuine to follow international standards. 

If he is 'smart' enough, he should know that processing the radioactive waste is not quite possible to be the solution to Lynas waste problem. As a Science Technology and Innovation Minister, he should know the science that material conversion cannot be 100% unless energy cost is not of a concern. Well, maybe the technology is beyond my knowledge, therefore I am looking forward to see the magic chemical process that will 100% convert the WLP (water leach purification) waste stream to non-radioactive products, non-radioactive by-products as well as non-radioactive waste. 

By the way, I wonder if the mentioned technology is in lab scale or already has a pilot plant. If it is not already in pilot, how to scale-up to a full-scale waste recycling plant in a short time? I wonder if  Maximus Ongkili has even tried to understand the so called 'innovative' option from the Lynas before he organize a press conference and talk about it. 

If he is really sincere in following 'international standard', then he should remember the much bragged about International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Report on Lynas. It was stated clearly in page 17 that " The development of the "synthetic mineral product".....however it is expected that some of the WLP will end up having to be disposed as waste...." [2

Therefore, I believe that we'll still face with radioactive waste issue even after waste recycling, maybe just a smaller volume. Since it's not tolerable for Malaysians to keep any radioactive waste for a foreign firm profit, iMaximus Ongkili is 'smart' enough, he should just ask straight for the waste export plan and waste export plan alone from the Lynas and not let Lynas delaying the matter by proposing waste recycle plan unless they can proof the technology by showing the pilot plant that the technology can really convert 100% the radioactive materials into non-radioactive ones. 

Is he 'smart' since he has forgotten to tell us many critical aspects of waste recycling process? Is BN running the country based on 'international standards' since our Science Minister has apparently forgotten the IAEA report? 

I am not sure. What say you? 


  1. Lynas is given 12 years tax free and they employed less than 500 workers. Hundreds of millions of profit goes to them and they leave behind an endless trail of radioactive waste for generations to come. Irregardless which way we look at it, this project has very little social economic benefits for Msia, BUT the environmental and health risks are just not worth it. Australia, 27X bigger than Msia rejected Lynas outright and China which has a bigger land area does it in the remotest part of the country are experiencing environmental and health problems. You dont need the brain of rocket science to figure out that someone big has pocketed big buck out of this project. WHEN PAKATAN WINS GE13, it will cost us, the taxpayer, hundreds of millions in compensation to get rid of Lynas. Well, that's how smart these Putrajaya robbers are !

    1. We have to bring all those directly or indirectly involve in the approval process including Ministers to jail. The civil society had warn them time and again but they are turning a deaf ears. The new government, if materialise should scrutinise through the contract and find an exit clause without having to pay for compensation.

  2. Yes, John..you know, I know ...but the voters refuse to understand and to know what to do ! God helps the Malaysians ! what a pity, such a blessed country going to be destroyed by the heartless politicians ( they have all property outside Malaysia..hence no-care-lah)....its going to be '2012' for Malaysia...goshh.

  3. While the focus on radiation is of main concern, let's not forget the waste is also toxic at certain levels. Besides that, large amounts of other chemicals are needed to process the rare earth like sulfuric acid each day plus water etc & of host of other chemical waste that is produced each day.

    Furthermore, the plan now is to convert some of the low level radioactive waste to aggregate to be used either as building material or road construction. Not sure how safe that is after several years. There is always danger of leeching.

    In the US, some nuclear waste are solidified into glass and then buried deep underground in dry arid places. Even then, you can read of failure for these type of repositoried http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_geological_repository#cite_note-3

  4. right on Ms Yeo, lets change the political scene in Malaysia. Time to change , to set a new look