Malaysia rare earth plant 'low' risk: IAEA

A rare-earth processing facility in Malaysia owned by Australia's Lynas Corp poses "low" radiological risks to the environment, the IAEA says.

Malaysia's controversial rare earth element processing facility poses little radiation risk to residents in the area and to the environment, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says.

The global nuclear energy body said on Saturday the Malaysian government has implemented all the safety recommendations on radiation safety at the Lynas Advanced Materials Processing (LAMP) facility in the state of Pahang.

"After the analysis of all documentation ... it became evident that the radiological risks to members of the public and to the environment associated with the operation of Lynas ... are intrinsically low," the IAEA said in a statement.

Activists have been calling on the Malaysian government to shut down the plant for fear that the radiation the plant produces is hazardous to human health and to the environment.

The rare earth element processing facility, which is owned and operated by Australia's Lynas Corporation and located in the outskirts of Kuantan town 210 kilometres north-east of Kuala Lumpur, has been given temporary licence to operate by the Malaysian government since September 2013.

Rare earth elements are found in the earth's crust and are vital to many modern technologies, including consumer electronics, computers and networks, communications, clean energy, advanced transportation and health care.

2 min read
Published 27 June 2015 at 7:58pm
Source: AAP