Bentong MP and long-time Lynas rare earth critic Wong Tack has lambasted Lynas Corporation for its announcement yesterday that the Pahang state government had approved Bukit Ketam as a site for its permanent disposal facility (PDF) for water leach purification (WLP) residue.
Calling the announcement irresponsible, Wong (above) echoed Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh's objection that Lynas is claiming the plant got approved after due diligence but without a Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) and public consultation.
Fuziah even claimed that the selection of Bukit Ketam could compromise the Semambu treatment plant which processes drinking water for 600,000 residents of Kuantan.
"How did the location to build the biggest radioactive dumpsite in the world get approved?" asked Wong Tack in a statement today.
Lynas also announced that they will pay a total of US$98 million up to and including June 2026.
“My question is who will end up paying for the monitoring and maintenance of Lynas’ radioactive dump after that? Our children and future generations? And for how long? Millions of years?" asked Wong.
He urged the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) to prevent Lynas from withdrawing funds from its US$50 million (RM205 million) security deposit to pay for the PDF.
"This absurd move by Lynas should be a cause of serious concern for all Malaysians as it proves that Lynas is financially incapable to deal with their massive pile of radioactive wastes.
"In any responsible country, deposits such as this are required to ensure that the polluter cleans up after they packed up.
"It is important to note that after Lynas shuts down, the decommissioning of the plant and environmental remediation activities will further generate wastes which need to be disposed of," said Wong.
"Rather than allowing Lynas to prematurely withdraw their security deposit, the AELB must instead substantially increase the amount required from Lynas to appropriately address the long-term risk and monitoring cost that our children will have to bear for probably millions of years once Lynas packs up and leaves us with their millions of tonnes of wastes," he said.
Wong also called on the government not to renew Lynas’ operating licence, which will expire on March 2 this year.