Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insightful Comments On Lynas

Its good to have a proper debate and get the facts out there. The trail of comments by some readers are worth a closer read. To me, we do not need to be in this kind of investment, this kind of industry. No matter how safe, we cannot discount the catastrophe that cannot be ascertain. Besides human error, what we cannot compute into our calculations are natural disasters (such as typhoons, earthquakes, huge land mass sinking, extreme floods, etc.) Then when we do crisis management, its way too late.

Mohammed said...

Namewee is hilarious with his moving and jiving. Gotta love him. Mat Sallehs probably think one of their lives is worth a thousand of another races'. Just think how their ancestors obliterated native dwellers in many parts of the world in their conquest of the New World.

Anyway I hope this issue will unite racially divided Malaysians across the country to come together to voice their distrust and dissatisfaction of the powers that be. Irrespective of the political potential to exploit this issue, the question is what price can the people in power put on the health the citizens concerned.

The other day a friend argued that disrobing women for the media, even with their consent, to pander to the base instincts of men, is a transgression. While I could not counter his view lucidly, I said exposing unborn fetuses to radiation in an area or workplace, is tantamount to fetal genocide. A far greater crime, in my book, than mere displays of female flesh. He just nodded to that.

As Namewee said, f$#k Aussies and their lying ways. And Malaysian traitors too.
1:51 AM

Blogger abel abel said...

The safety risk of the Lynas plant has been blown out of proportion

Amang (tin tailings) processing plants across malaysia emitts higher radiation level than lynas.

waste in amang plants are disposed onsite wihout issues (which was the original plan for lynas waste disposal)

Comparison to bukit merah is also unwarranted as radiation level of waste in bukit merah is 10-30 times higher than lynas'

Economic benefits are also overlooked

Unless the world stopped consuming smartphones, cars and tech devices in 2025, malaysia is gonna reap the full tax revenue of supplying 1/6th of the planet's rare earth needs.

Btw lynas did have approval to open the refinery in Australia. The 12 years tax break was the reason they chose malaysia over other countries. On top of that kuanta port already serve amang factories in gebeng have the knowhow of handling ore shipments.

It is truly sad that politics has gotten in the way of common sense and science.
2:24 AM

Blogger elizabeth said...

abel abel,
U seem to know a fair bit. can u also tell me, how is Malaysia going to benefit if the plant only create 300+ jobs and Lynas is not paying taxes for 12 good years? Lynas is not zero risk, or near zero risk. What about the emotional and mental anguish of residents in and around Gebeng. So far, the government has not been able to tell Malaysians just exactly how good this deal is to Malaysians. Without thinking too hard, the deal had been good to those who needed to be greased.
10:40 AM

Blogger Hijaz Kamal said...

Yes,malaysoa will be an end user, our company uses boron a rare earth uaed as dopant on silicon chips that runs your computer processors.there will be more plants like ours that will use boron in chip processing,the germans wik, build a big one in kulim.

It is obvious you are not concerned aout environmental issues but using Lynas as a political harm, in politics, anything goes.

But hey..this is an internet..everyone screw each other.

I seriously think that Lynas iissue s blown out of proportiobs.
2:56 PM

Blogger abel abel said...

Hello elizabeth

In terms of economic benefit, lynas still have to pay export duties as most of their products will be sold outside malaysia. And the services around lynas like transportation will see added business.

But I am looking at the long un 20 - 30 years ahead when malaysian oil will run out. We need to identify alternative source of income right now. And we cannot let politics get in the way.

The demand for rare earth is gonna go up as electronic products become more afforsable. supplying 1/6th of the worlds rare earth needa is a big source of income.

AELB regulates 16 amang processing plants in malaysia from logistics, operation to waste disposal. And they do it with no issues. We have the experience and the knowhow. That is why the IAEA report noted that AELB is professional, comited and dedicated to regulating IAEA and haa not commited any non compliance.

Peoples fear and anguish caused by deliberate misinformation and sometomes outright lies.I think if u survey the himpunan hijau crowd. Majority still think lynas is buildinh a nuclear plant.
8:08 PM

Blogger Anon118 said...

abel abel:
"In terms of economic benefit, lynas still have to pay export duties as most of their products will be sold outside malaysia. And the services around lynas like transportation will see added busines"

1) ANY business generate the "economic benefit" you must mentioned. Your point doesn't make any sense.

Do you know what is our country's main source of revenue?

"But I am looking at the long un 20 - 30 years ahead when malaysian oil will run out. We need to identify alternative source of income right now. And we cannot let politics get in the way"

2) Who's talking about politics? IF you're looking at the long run, then you can see the damage radiation can bring in the long run.

"AELB regulates 16 amang processing plants in malaysia from logistics, operation to waste disposal.... IAEA and haa not commited any non compliance."

3) Do you know that the DEIA has NOT been completed?

".I think if u survey the himpunan hijau crowd. Majority still think lynas is buildinh a nuclear plant."

4) Where did you obtain such "factual" observation?
11:21 PM

Blogger Mohammed said...

Great economics? Zero safety & health concerns? Only politics? Only in boleh land, lol.
11:53 PM

Blogger abel abel said...

Hello anon

1) not many businesses are as a big as lynas'. As I wrote

" The demand for rare earth is gonna go up as electronic products become more affordable. supplying 1/6th of the worlds rare earth needa is a big source of income."

Petronas contributes 45% of the govt revenue. But in 20-30 years time we prolly would have hit peak oil. We need to find alternative source of income NOW. We shall benefit fully from lynas after the end of the 12 years tax break

2) The effects of radiation on human tissue are measured in thousandths of a sievert (mSv) , which measure the biological effect of radiation on tissues.

lynas' radiation exposure level to the public is 0.002 mSw/year. To put that into perspective, dose rates for handphone usage has been found to be as high as 99 mSw, measured from a distance of 60cm!

Put it simply, you get more radiation usig your handphone than lynas opening shop.

2) the PEIA and RIA are sufficient to defernine the environmental impact of the lynas refinery. DEIA are called upon when the project affect the ecology etc. For exp the hydroproject in terengganu and he MRT project.

Lynas refinery is a closed environment and saparate from the outside.

3) when u r out in the streets, ask ppl to explain what is lynas. U will see how misinformed are the answers.

I dun find it surprising that this happen..

In fuziah salleh website.. there are over 300 mentions of fukushima. At least once a day since last year
6:29 AM

Blogger Shihong said...

@Abel abel

Exporting another commodity is the last thing that Malaysia needs. Our dependence on oil has already given us the Dutch disease. There are many other ways to obtain sources of income, and many of these do not require exporting potentially "unsafe" commodities. Please refer to Singapore and Hong Kong, which do not have any commodities at all. It does not have to be this controversial. The only reason Malaysia is "competitive" right now for the Lynas plant is the tax break, as you said.

Time and again, we have used "subsidies" (let's face it, tax breaks are a form of subsidies) to gain foreign investment. After the tax holiday ends, there is nothing to stop the foreign investment from leaving. Even our electronics sector is failing. If you look at the electronics goods exports around the region, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, etc have all registered full recovery in terms of electronics exports (maybe Thailand was dragged down by the floods a little bit) (despite the Eurozone woes). Only Malaysia is still giving the excuse of "uncertain global economic outlook" for its poor performance in manufactured exports. We need to work on improving our productivity and competitiveness in other aspects rather than just being the "cheapest" in the region. Otherwise, we will go down in history as another pariah nation.

The point here is that, is there NO BETTER alternative to such a controversial investment? The issue for me is not whether Lynas IS actually safe or not. But the fact that it was done without proper disclosure and education of the public has allowed politicians to politicize the issue. If the government was completely open to begin with, educating the public along the way, this would not have been a big issue. The issue is so contentious because the government "tried" to hide it, which arouses suspicion. If it is not bad, why hide it? Whether it's bad or not doesn't matter anymore. The damage has been done, and it is irreversible.
2:04 PM

Blogger CK said...


Cumulative dosage is the exposure to minimum radioactive dosage over a long period of time. This dosage could be relatively safe due to the low level radiation, but over a period, the sum total effect could be killing.

Just image someone is subjected to a daily dosage of x-ray examination. Though this x-ray dosage is strictly control, but over a period of time the subject under examination would suffers from radiation over-dosed. Bukit Merah residents’ cancer/birth defect incidents were mainly the result of this cumulative radiation exposure.

In short, the residents, around Lynas Genbeng plant, would suffer from the initial effect of the cumulative radiation, low dosage but doing damage silently to their health. Eventually, these residents would have to face the accumulative dosage that would kill + the final cumulative effect caused over the continuous exposure of low radiation. A double whammy!!!

3)Someone has bet me to the mention of ‘Do you know that the DEIA has NOT been completed?’

That also indicates how ‘efficience’ is our AELB!

4)Yes, there r many mis-information flowing around town, wrt Lynas Genbeng. U r definitely one of them.

But as far as radioactive waste is concerned, whether it’s from nuclear power plant or industrial extraction, human has not reached the stage of safe-guarding the handlers, lest about the protection of environment. This is especially true even for country like USA.

Then, what’s M’sia in this scheme of radioactive waste handling?

Just dig out the quantitative survey of how many of the amang (tin tailings) processing plants handlers died of cancer + the history of birth defects that ran in the family would put up a good indication. Bet then AELB has zilch such data!!!!!
2:51 PM

Blogger CK said...

abel abel,

1)So u r talking long term? Do u know WHY other rare earth rich countries, like USA, does not give new license for rare earth extraction in situ?

Do u know that one of the reason for that is bcoz the current technologies used for rare earth extraction would ALWAYS lead to excessive environmental pollution (both radioactive & non-radioactive)?

95% of the world rare earth requirement is provided by China, whose rare earth content is ONLY 36% of the estimated world volume. USA has more. Ditto Oz. Yet, due to loose control & ignorance, China has managed to become the largest producer of rare earth. Until recently, the tightening of the safety rules means why suddenly China has reduced the export of rare earth to other countries. Consequently the rare earth commodity prices rocket upward.

Perhaps in 20-30 yrs time, new technological advancement for rare earth extraction would be friendlier to the destruction of the environment. By then, old tech fuss like Lynas Genbeng would price itself out of the economical loop with tons of accumulative radioactive waste to look after.

So ‘We need to find alternative source of income NOW. We shall benefit fully from lynas after the end of the 12 years tax break’, - dream on sucker!

2)U r spinning hp6 facts with hp6 lies.

1st – how do u measure the level of radiation from Lynas Genbeng? ‘lynas' radiation exposure level to the public is 0.002 mSw/year.’ is based on what volume of the residual waste from the Lynas Genbeng extraction plant?

Many people FORGET about the accumulative & cumulative effect of the radioactive dosage. Both effects r harmful to human!

Accumulative dosage refers to the combined incremental volume of the radiation emitted. Initially the dosage could be safe as the waste volume is small. But then the dosage reaches harmful level as the volume of the radioactive waste increases.

Thorium is forever present in the mineral ore from Mt Weld, though in very minute quantity. The extraction process of the required rare earth elements increases the concentration of the thorium. This also directly increases the radiation level, though in an incremental dosage. Eventually the dosage reaches lethal level due to the large volume of the waste accumulated. Bukit Merah cleaning process now faces a storage problem of how to safe-keep the dangerous level of radiation due to the accumulated volume of radioactive waste.

4:37 PM

Blogger duuude said...

This is what it boils down to.

Australia: Eat that radioactive shit, you stupid third world bitch. 'Cos I ain't takin' it back.

Malaysia: Mmmm, ... sedap....
12:40 AM

Blogger abel abel said...

Hello CK

1) just last week,American company Mollycorp opened a new rare earth processing facility at its Mountain Pass mine, california. The approval for the plant construction was awarded in 2010. $500 million was spent to expand the mine.

Mollycorp also entered into a joint venture with Hitachi to produce rare earth magents from components mined and processed at ithe mountain pass sitesite. It is part of their strategy to move down the rare earth supply chain. I think local companies in malaysia could go into this as well due to the availability of rare earth components when lynas open shop.

Other than that..
Australia's Arafura Resources is building a rare earth mine and processing plant at its Nolan project in the Northern Territory. It expects to start mining by 2013.

Canda's Avalon Rare Metals is currently developing the Thor Lake mine in Northwest Canada, which - according to the company - is rich in neodymium and heavy rare earths.

So I disagree that malaysia is doing a dirty job that developed countries won't do. The contrary

2) according to international standards, maximum acceptable dose radiation exposure for the public from any man made facility is 1 mSv/year.

AELB has set up radiation monitors onsite at the lynas plant plus monitors 1 km, 5 km and 50 km from the site. They publish the readings on a monthly basis on their website. You can check it out. They are also hiring third party independent assesors to verify their reading. Later on IAEA will come on to again verify the reading.

By establishing the base level readings, they can determine how much is Lynas' contribution to the radiation level in the area. That's how they verify the 0.002 mSv/year figure which is actually a worst case scenario determined in the Radiological Impact Assessment

I feel your fears for accumulated exposure is severely missplaced. Sleeping next to a human everyday, natural radiation from the sky, ground and your own body is proven to have several tens to hundred times higher radiation level than lynas!

A study found that handphones radiattion doze 99 mSv!
10:23 PM

Blogger abel abel said...

Hello Shihong

Thank you for the reply

1) I agree with you that we should up our competitiveness and productivity. In my view, we need to support innovation so we don't hear anymore news of malaysian-born people inventing something new in some other country.

2) however I don't think it is mutually exclusive. If mineral processing can benefit the country economically, why reject it just because some people have made it controversial?

3) yeah lynas chose us mainly because of the corporate tax break. But our port capability to handle its shipment is oso a factor. Being tech cheap is better than being labour intensive cheap

4) barring the world stop consuming electronics, demand for rare earth component is gonna go up. So I don't think lynas will close shop and move away after 12 years.

Furthermore lynas still have to pay export duties from their shipment.

And, Lynas' rare earth components can be purchased by rare earth magnet producer such as shin etsu sdn bhd which is located in hicom industrial area, shah alam, selangor

How bout local companies openning its own rare earth magnets production facility? taking advantage of easily accessible rare earth components in malaysia. Hows that for economical spin off?

5) I am not sure if AELB is being secretive. The EIA was displayed publicly in 2008 for one month, town hall meetings was done in 2009, radiation readings are collected at the lynas site and is published monthly on their website and questions on Lynas are answered and published on its website. You should check out AELB website, there is a lot of info the public space published
10:26 PM

Blogger CK said...

Sorry Dali, this one I must reply, even though it’s an old post.

abel abel

1)I’m aware of the recent projects that u have mentioned. Yet u conveniently forgot to mention major salient points that those projects have been undertaken!

All these mentioned projects have been raised many years ago. Some r more than 5 yrs in planning before Lynas Gebeng. They faced countless obstacles due to resident objections, EIA restrictions & pure economical assessment study.

Only recently those that u mentioned r managed to get approval. Their recent approvals came with huge financial costs that only the current rocketing rare earth commodity prices could justify. Most of these costs r related to stringent EIA requirements & implementation of new processing technologies.

Australia's Arafura Resources has to built its rare earth mine and processing plant at its Nolan project in the Northern Territory. Know how isolated is that plant in Alice Spring? Make one wonder, what Arafura can do & yet Lynas cannot do in Mt Weld! Ditto Thor Lake mine in Northwest Canada.

2)Now u r playing with words. 1st has Lynas Gebeng been in operation? If Lynas Gebeng is still in construction then WHAT r the reading that our AELB is monitoring, surrounding the site in question.

Oop, they r measuring the current natural radiation level of the Gebeng surrounding before Lynas is operating & use these readings as guild!

'That's how they verify the 0.002 mSv/year figure which is actually a worst case scenario determined in the Radiological Impact Assessment!'

How this conclusion came about when the ACTUAL radiation level of the Lynas Gebeng plant is still NOT available? Perhaps, as in figure-from-the-sky?

U r the one that is been severely trying to spin. Read my take again. Lynas claimed that the radiation level of Thorium WOULD not increase bcoz they r not mining Throrium. This is hp6 fact & lie. Any extraction process would increase the concentration of the ore wanted. At the same time, other unwanted ‘residues’ would also inevitably be concentrated. THIS IS THE LAW OF ANY PROCESSING PROCEDURE. U yrself & Lynas have been saying the same thing as the radiation level of the amang (tin tailing) is higher than the mineral ore from Mt Weld. Think – why the amang has such a high level of radiation. The mineral ore containing the tin has all the time been radioactive, except in a very minute level. The moment the tin is been extracted, the amang shows high level of radiation. Does this high level of radiation comes from sky? Or created by the tin mining process?

As the concentration of the Thorium waste increases, the radiation level also increase proportionally. This process is gradual & incremental. & in the case of Throrium, with a half life of 14B years, the Thorium level CAN only increase as the volume of waste increases.

Since u keep using handphone radiation as an argument, then WOULD u like to inhale 0.0002mSv of Thorium vis-à-vis using a 99mSv emitting handphone daily?

BTW, the health hazard of the microwave radiation of the handphone to user is in dispute. Whereas, the Thorium intoxication effect to the lung is VERY well-know.

3)‘So I don't think lynas will close shop and move away after 12 years.’

But by then new & more efficient extraction process would definitely kill LAMP, which is nice in name & yet archaic in mineral extraction technology. Do try to compare LAMP with the new plants that u’ve mentioned earlier, iff u still have time after this spin.

4)‘I am not sure if AELB is being secretive.’

They r definitely no been professional! Especially after the hooha with the radiation level of Lynas Gebeng & the health effect of the amang among the handlers!
10:37 AM