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The Referendum submitted to the IAEA Panel by Kuantan MP YB Fuziah Salleh on 30 May 2011 (English & Mandarin)

May 31, 2011

The REFERENDUM On The Setting Up And Operation Of

Lynas Advance Material Plant (LAMP) In Gebeng Kuantan

 

By The Concern Citizens of Kuantan.

30th May 2011

 

On behalf of approximately 700,000 citizens that reside within the 30 km radius of Gebeng;

 

We begin by quoting the following exert from an article titled The Issue of Residual Thorium & Uranium from Rare-Earth Ore Processing Posted By Jack Lifton on March 11, 2011 @ 12:25 pm in News Analysis, Rare Earths

 

“In the rare-earths sector a very important and under-reported story is coming to the surface. A senior executive at a rare-earth junior said to me at PDAC in Toronto earlier this week that the 800-pound gorilla in every rare-earth venture’s room, was the radioactive thorium and/ or uranium-bearing waste that will be generated by the extraction, separation, and refining operations that are the supply chain steps immediately following mining and mechanical concentration.

 

It is my understanding that Lynas’ first business plan for the Mt Weld operation put out in 2005 called for only raw ore to be produced in Australia. Every further step in the supply chain was, in that plan, to be done in China, and, at the conclusion the idea was that China would either ship finished rare-earth metals to Lynas’ customers or buy the rare-earth metals at that point or earlier in the supply chain from Lynas. This original Lynas plan faltered on the failure of the Chinese to give guarantees that the ore would remain the property of Lynas, after Chinese work product was added to it. Chinese law on the ownership of natural resources by the State was not specific on when such ownership vested if the goods were imported, and this made institutional investors gun-shy of the project.

 

One of the major advantages of Lynas’ original plan was that any radioactive residue would have been a Chinese disposal problem, and in those days the Chinese were more flexible about that than they have now become.”

 

OBJECTIVE

We are aware that the IAEA expert panel is here in Malaysia to investigate the health and safety aspects of LAMP, specifically to review the radiation safety aspects of the facility in relation to relevant international radiation safety standards and good practice.

 

We are also very aware of the fact that the panel will not engage in policy type of discussions.

 

However the arguments that we are putting forth in our representation today, will be to put across a strong message to the panel that whatever technical solutions and recommendations being proposed to the government of Malaysia by the panel of international experts at the end of this fact finding mission with not function as a working model here in Malaysia.

 

Recommendations on LAMP’s safety does not rest on technical recommendations and inputs but rather must be made on a holistic approach on the moral ground by putting people’s safety, health and lives above others.

 

1)    HEALTH CONCERNS.

The information contained in the above article is not of a new discovery. We, the Kuantan Concern Citizens are very much aware of the hazard that lies in the rare earth processing industry which has cause a bad mark in the history of Malaysia. During the 1980’s a similar industry, where a company by the name of Asian Rare Earth (owned by a Japanese company, Mitsubitshi Corporation) had cause a disastrous and irreversible impact to humanity and surrounding ecology. Many children and adults succumbed to illness caused by cancer which includes leukemia and the like. There is also living proof of children who were born deformed or mentally handicap. Cases of fetus which died during pregnancy were also recorded. The village was somehow deserted and not livable. The clean up of the radioactive waste had just been taken recently by the government and the owner of the company and cost the owner over RM 300 million.

 

Lynas, which do not have any track record in processing rare earth prior to this, to this date had not been able to show any concrete measure in the handling of the radioactive waste generated from the separation process in Gebeng, Kuantan. Although Lynas and the Malaysian government tried to downplay the amount of thorium generated by claiming that the ore from Mount Weld contains less thorium in comparison with the ore used by Asian Rare Earth, the volume that LAMP proposed to process here in Gebeng are many times more than of Asian Rare Earth.

 

We have no doubt whatsoever that the total accumulated thorium will be very much higher than what was produced in Bukit Merah. Lynas’s claims on having the best engineering practice and safer processing technology were never proven as there is no existing LAMP anywhere prior to this  nor is  there any existing refinery facility outside China which can be benchmarked to. Until today, Lynas has failed to produce a concrete long term radioactive waste management plan

 

Considering the overall harm and damages that can be caused by thorium and many other element produced such as uranium waste, radon & thoron gas, and many other hazardous chemicals used in the process, we strongly believe that this facility is not safe. The magnitude of damage to mankind and the environment will be enormous. It will cause an irreversible impact to the community. We definitely will not allow ourselves and our future generation to be the GUINEA PIGS or LAB RATS to the massive experiment which Lynas plan to conduct on humanity. It is morally wrong and a violation of human rights to living a healthy live, to begin an operation on a process which is not proven to be safe especially so when it is  near to residential areas in a densely populated area within it’s 30 km radius.

 

History has shown that industry owner will easily get away from their liability and responsibility because it is not easy to prove that any health impact in future is directly link to their waste generation due to the lack of enforcement in our country. We certainly refuse to shoulder the risk of the harm that this plant poses to our health and the environmental threats to our future generation. We do not want our homeland to be the dumping ground of an irresponsible business entity. Economic gain shall NOT and NEVER take priority over safety and health of human being.

 

2)    ECONOMIC CONCERNS

Kuantan is a tourist destination with beautiful beaches and scenic sights. Many of the local residents immediately next to the LAMP site thrives on the tourism industry by being proprieters of budget hotels and homestays as well as managing the seafood industry to cater for the needs of locals and tourists alike. At the same time Kuantan also harbours one of the largest fishing port in Malaysia which registers more than 390 deep sea trawlers at it’s docks. The stigma that this industry brings will certainly bring a heavy blow to the local residents and Kuantan will not be an attractive destination for tourist anymore. Even right now as we sit here in this meeting, the prices of property in Kuantan have spiraled down. Not to mention the cost of health insurance that will be burdensome to the Kuantan tax payers. The Kuantan Local Council has  signed an undertaking  to adopt the Local Agenda 21 in support of sustainable development  way back in the year 2001. Thus, approving LAMP without prior consultation with the public and the stakeholders in Kuantan is a totally unacceptable act and contravenes the principles of sustainable development adopted in Local Agenda 21.

 

3)    LAX ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS

Specifically with regards to this industry, Malaysia does not have stringent environmental laws to protect our Environment. Even the regulator for LAMP project will be the AELB (Atomic Energy Licensing Board) as compared to the EPA in Australia or the US.

 

4)    ENFORCEMENT ISSUES

There are always issues regarding slack enforcement as well as corruption in this country (the Corruption Perception Index for Malaysia being at 56 out of 178 countries is testimony to this fact). Even if Malaysia imposes fines on Lynas (a 100% Australian owned company)   for non compliance, whatever the amount will be peanuts compared to the total export value  of RM8 billion a year that Lynas will be enjoying.

 

5)    LYNAS’S CREDIBILITY AND INTEGRITY

Lynas’s credibility is greatly questionable

 

(i)         Even in Australia, Lynas has a record of non compliance to the Safety Standards set in the original works approval for  (Environmental Assessment Report – Amendments to works approval W4440/2008/1 regards tailings storage facility of their Concentration Plant in Mt Weld)

(ii)     Lynas has been misleading the public by providing the Malaysian public as well as the Malaysian authorities  with incomplete or skewed information.

(iii)    Lynas is using Chinese standards in Malaysia as opposed to what they claim that they adhere to strict IAEA standards. By using Chinese standards (GB9133-88), they get away with their claim that the waste is NON RADIOACTIVE since the specific radioactivity level of their waste  is at 61 Bq/g ( the limit in Chinese Standards is 74Bq/g while the limit in Australia and by IAEA standards is 1 Bq/g) The RIA report dated June 2010 confirms the specific radioactivity level of the waste.

 

6)    SIGNED PETITION From the Kuantan Folks

Copies of 51,000 plus petition collected from Kuantan alone (from 15th March – 30th May 2011) suffice to impress upon the panel the grievance of the Kuantan public. This forms an integral  part of the referendum.

 

EXPECTED OUTCOME

The Citizens of Kuantan are not opposed to development.  However, we would like to assert strongly that the development we desire is in the form of SUSTAINABLE  DEVELOPMENT.

 

Therefore, we demand the government of Malaysia to stop Lynas from operating its rare earth processing plant in Kuantan or anywhere in Malaysia. We do not have faith that whatever recommendations given by the panel can be and will be complied to. We do not want to face a radioactive problem in our backyard when Gebeng is turned into an onsite radioactive waste dumping ground for LAMP forever. We certainly do not want to subject ourselves or our family members to severe health threats while Lynas make their way to the bank, laughing.

 

Our expected outcome from your mission here in Malaysia will be that we expect you to advise the government of Malaysia as well as the state government of Pahang that they have made a mistake in giving approval for LAMP to be constructed in Gebeng. Never the less it is not too late for the Malaysian authorities to make the right moral decision for the Concerned Citizens, all 700,000 living within 30 km radius of LAMP which is NOT to ISSUE an Operating License due in September.

 

I also trust that the panel will make it’s decision based on conscience, putting lives and environment first before profits, as the lives of the citizens are of paramount importance, priceless and totally not negotiable.

 

Representation From the Kuantan Concern Citizens

 

Represented by:

Fuziah Salleh

Member of Parliament,

Kuantan.

30th May 2011

_____________________________________________________________________________

 

照会 – 莱纳斯稀土厂在格宾、关丹的设立和运营

 

“关丹关怀居民”

2011年5月30日

 

代表约70万居住在格宾(Gebeng)30公里半径范围内的市民:

 

首先让我们引述以下杰克利夫顿(Jack Lifton) 发布于2011年3月11日, 12点25分在《新闻分析,稀土》(News Analysis, Rare Earths) 标题为“稀土矿提炼导致含钍和铀残留物的问题”的一篇具有制影响力的文章。

“一个非常重要但缺乏报道的稀土界故事将浮上台面。一位初级稀土界的高级行政人员向我透露,本周前在多伦多的PDAC,每间稀土探险室内 800磅重的大猩猩,显示含放射性的钍和/或铀废料将来自提取、分离和炼制的过程 – 一个紧随采矿和机械浓缩的操作步骤。

 

据 我所了解,莱纳斯在2005年的第一个为威尔德山(Mount Weld)运营的商务计划仅是在澳洲进行稀土矿的生产。在该计划中,供应链中的其他步骤将在中国完成,而中国将给莱纳斯的客户递送稀土金属成品、或在供应 链初期向莱纳斯购买稀土金属成品。这原先的莱纳斯计划变卦是因为在中国加工后的稀土,中国无法给予保证稀土仍将归莱纳斯所有。中国国家自然资源归属权没有 具体的法律 – 没有说明此类进口物品的归属权,这使投资者退避。

 

莱纳斯原先计划的一个主要优点是,任何辐射性残留物将会是中国本身处理的问题,而在当时,中国对此问题的看待比目前放松得多。

 

目标

 

众所周知,国际原子能机构专家小组目前身在马来西亚,调查莱纳斯稀土厂对健康和安全方面的影响,特别是审查有关设施与国际辐射安全标准和最优实践相关的辐射安全问题。

 

我们也意识到,该小组事实上将不会参与政策类型式的讨论。

 

然而,我们今天的代表为我们所提出的论点,将会向国际专家小组转达一个强烈的信息 – 即在这个实情调查任务的最终,国际专家小组无论向马来西亚政府提供技术上解决的方案或建议,实际上是无法成为马来西亚工作的模式和无法发挥功能的。

 

对于莱纳斯稀土厂的安全建议,必须采取整体论的方式、基于道德优需先考虑人民安全、健康和生命,而不是只注重技术的意见。

 

1)健康的关注

上 述文章所包含的信息已不是一个新发现。我们“关丹关怀居民”非常明白稀土加工业的危险性,因为它已是马来西亚历史上的一个污点。在1980年,一个类似的 工业,由一家日本公司(Mitsubitshi Coporation)所拥有的公司,名为亚洲稀土厂,已对人类和周围的生态环境造成了灾难性破坏、和不可逆转的影响。许多儿童和成年人患上癌症,包括白 血病之类的疾病。也有出生畸形或弱智儿童的活生生证明。记录同时显示胎儿在怀孕期间死亡的案件。该村庄被遗弃,而不适宜居住。亚洲稀土厂关闭的二十年后, 清理辐射性废物才刚刚由政府和该厂商联手承接,而该厂商得承担超过马币三亿万的花费。

 

不具有任何处理稀土提炼记录的莱纳 斯,在此之前,无法对在格宾分离提炼过程中所产生的辐射性废物处理,出示任何具体性的措施。虽然莱纳斯和马来西亚政府试图淡化有害辐射性钍产生量,并以红 泥山亚洲稀土厂作比较,强调来自威尔德山的稀土矿所含有的钍元素很低。但事实上,建议在格宾所生产的稀土量会比亚洲稀土厂多出很多倍。

 

毫 无疑问,有害辐射性的钍累积量将远比红泥山亚洲稀土厂所生产的来得高。莱纳斯声称拥有最优工程实践、更安全的加工技术,事实上是无法被证明的。因为除了中 国以外,全世界目前没有其他正在经营着的稀土提炼厂可做设施基准。直到今天,莱纳斯未能具体说明它对有害辐射性残留物的长期管理计划。

 

顾 虑到钍废料和其他元素、如铀废料,氡和钍射气,和其他许多使用在生产过程中有害化学品对整体的伤害,我们坚信,莱纳斯稀土提炼设施是不安全的 – 此设施对人类和环境损害的幅度将是巨大的。这将对社会造成不可逆转的负面影响。我们绝对不允许自己和下一代成为莱纳斯计划把人类当成大量豚鼠或实验室老鼠 来进行实验。它在道义上是错误的,侵犯人民享有健康生活的基本的权利。尤其是莱纳斯即将在一个不被证明是安全 – 靠近人口稠密住宅区的30公里半径范围内开始操作。

 

历史已经证明,此工业的业主很容易摆脱他们所应承担的责任。因为关于我 国执行力松散, 废物产生而影响人民未来健康是不容易被证明的。我们拒绝承担稀土厂对我们健康危害的风险、和对我们未来一代的环境破坏。我们不希望我们的祖国成为一个不负 责任个体工商户的倾卸场。经济利益始终不应该排在人类安全和健康之上。

 

2)经济考量

关 丹是一个拥有美丽海滩和风景的旅游胜地。莱纳斯稀土厂紧靠着许多当地居民以蓬勃旅游业为生的经济型酒店、家庭寄宿和以配合当地居民和游客需要的海产行业。 同时,关丹是马来西亚其中最大的渔港,当地码头拥有390多艘注册深海拖网渔船。稀土厂工业将会是关丹耻辱的标记 – 它将为当地居民带来沉重的打击,关丹将不再会是一个具有吸引力的旅游目的地。即使现在,我们身处的这个会议厅,其价格已因稀土厂和其他关丹物业一起狂飙下 来。医疗保险成本也将成为关丹纳税人的繁重负担。关丹地方议会早在2001年签署了一项承诺,实施21地方议程以广大对可持续发展的支持。因此,在未与公 众和利益相关者协商前,批准莱纳斯稀土厂,是完全不可接受的行为、和违反可持续发展的21地方议程的原则。

 

3)松懈的环保法律

针对这个行业,马来西亚并没有严格的环保法律来保护我们的环境。莱纳斯稀土厂的项目监管者将是原子能执照局(AELB)- 这与澳洲和美国的环保局相差什远。

 

4)执法问题

这个国家总是面对执法松懈以及贪污腐败的问题(马来西亚的贪污印象指数在178个国家中排名第56,证明了这一事实)。即使马来西亚向不遵守条规的莱纳斯(100%的澳资公司)征收罚款,不论金额的多寡,与莱纳斯将享有的八亿马币出口总额相比较,根本是小巫见大巫。

 

5)莱纳斯的可靠性和诚信

莱纳斯的信誉有很大疑问

 

(一)即使在澳洲,莱纳斯拥有违反原有工程安全条规的记录(环境评估报告 – 修订工程批准W4440/2008/1有关莱纳斯在威尔德山浓缩厂的尾矿贮存设施)

(二)莱纳斯提供不齐全的资料以误导马来西亚当局和公众。

(三) 莱纳斯在马来西亚使用中国的标准,而不是他们所声称的严格原子能机构标准。通过使用中国的(GB9133 – 88)标准,他们不会因放射性的废物而受惩罚 – 莱纳斯放射性废物的具体水平达到61贝可/克(中国的标准上限为74贝可/克,而澳洲和国际原子能机构的标准是1贝可/克)日期为2010年6月的RIA 报告证实了放射性废物的具体水平。

 

6)关丹乡亲的签名请愿书

请愿书上已经征集了超过51,000个关丹居民的签名(从2011年3月15日至5月30日)足以显示关丹的民怨。这些签名组成了此照会的重要部分。

 

期待的结果

关丹居民不反对发展。但是,我们主张及强烈渴望的发展是可持续性的发展。

 

因 此,我们要求马来西亚政府阻止莱纳斯稀土提炼厂在关丹或马来西亚的任何一个角落经营。我们没有信心,国际原子能机构专家小组所给于的任何建议,将会被遵 守。我们不要我们的后院面对有毒辐射性的问题,也不希望格宾成为莱纳斯辐射性残留物的永久堆积场。我们更不希望自己或家人受到严重健康威胁的同时,而莱纳 斯却一路笑到银行。

 

我们期待小组来马来西亚任务的结果,将是告知马来西亚政府及彭亨州政府,他们批准莱纳斯在格宾兴建稀土 提炼厂是错误的。但马来西亚当局现在亡羊補牢以作出对有关居民正确和有道德的决定还不是太晚 – 请为了所有在30公里半径范围内的70万居民不签发九月到期的经营许可证。

 

我也相信,该小组将把良心、生命和环保作为决定的前提和基础,而不是利润 – 公民的生命是最重要的,无价的,也是完全没有协商的余地的。

 

“关丹关怀居民” 代表

 

代表:

 

傅芝雅(Fuziah Salleh)

 

关丹国会议员

2011年5月30号

Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh has been spearheading the Stop Lynas movement
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