Monday, May 30, 2011

Malaysiakini - IAEA panel on Lynas plant gets to work

May 29, 11 11:14pm

The IAEA expert panel investigating the health and safety aspects of the Lynas rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang has begun its work from today with a briefing on the project by Malaysian technical officials, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said in a statement today.

Panel leader Dr Tero Varjoranta said the panel would "review the radiation safety aspects of the facility in relation to relevant international radiation safety standards and good practices."

He said the team would provide an independent expert opinion to the Malaysian government.

"The mission is technical in nature and has no mandate, and therefore will not engage in policy type of discussions," Dr Varjoranta stressed.

He explained that the work of the panel would be focused on gathering information and receiving submissions from interested parties and members of the public. -

He said that it was the standard practice of IAEA missions such as this to obtain its information in closed door sessions, and not in town hall-type of meetings.

The team is in Malaysia at the invitation of the Malaysian government.

Besides Dr Varjoranta, the panel consists of nine professionals of various disciplines from Canada, Finland, India, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the Vienna-based IAEA.
Four of them are from the IAEA, and the other 5 are consultants from member countries.

While here, the panel will meet government officials, Lynas employees, residents and other members of the public. They will also visit the project site.

The team will complete its work in Malaysia on June 3, and is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to the government, by the end of June 2011.

- Bernama

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