Radiation Monitors for Lynas

Lynas workers checking a rare earth channelling system at the plant site in Gebeng yesterday. — Bernama picture

KUANTAN: Lynas Corporation will enhance the safety aspects at its rare earth processing plant in Gebeng here, including installing two units of the Environmental Radiation Monitoring System worth a total of RM1.4 million in the area.

The first unit will be installed at the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) office at the site while the second one will be placed at a yet-to-be identified spot at a nearby residential area. 

In reassuring the public of the safety of its plant, Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Datuk Mashal Ahmad said the devices would help detect the presence of radioactive particles in the air.

He said the aerosol-type device was widely used in European countries, especially by those which operated nuclear plants, to check the air quality and the existence of radioactive materials.
"The AELB will handle the device which operates round the clock.

"The public will also be allowed to check the readings and judge for themselves whether the air is contaminated with radioactive materials or not," he said after handing over the keys to AELB's temporary office at the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) site yesterday.
Mashal said the AELB officers would be available at the site office to answer questions and arrange visits to the plant upon request.

He said Lynas would purchase the detectors from Austria. The first unit is due in October.

To boost the public's confidence in the RM2 billion rare earth plant, Mashal said the AELB had agreed to station four officers at the construction site to monitor the progress of the project.
"Since the AELB officers will be here around the clock, I am sure they can help avoid any mistakes."

On the New York Times' report that the Lynas rare earth plant was plagued by construction and design problems, Mashal said such issues were normal in the construction of any plant and gave an assurance that the matter would be solved.

"These are technical matters which can be solved by our experts and contractors.

"This is normal and there is no need to blow the issue out of proportion."

AELB director-general Raja Datuk Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan, who was also present, said the licensing board had been monitoring the plant construction and would not issue the pre-operating licence if Lynas failed to comply with all the safety requirements.

He said the AELB had been looking into all the complaints, including those from the public and the New York Times' report.

Yesterday, more than 100 residents from nearby areas were invited to the site to witness the handing-over ceremony.

They were later taken on a tour around the factory.

@ Safety Information...ThinkSafe,WorkSafe

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