KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 — Lynas Corp executive chairman Nicholas Curtis rubbished an article published today alleging grave construction flaws in the Australian firm’s rare earth refinery in Pahang.
The flaws could cause radioactive contamination and risk the health and safety of thousands working and living there.
In a report headlined “The Fear of a Toxic Rerun” by Keith Bradsher, the New York Times highlighted environmentally hazardous construction and design problems, including trapped moisture in humid Malaysia that could potentially affect the RM700 million Lynas rare earths plant being built to challenge China’s stranglehold in the key rare earths industry.
Asked if he was denying outright the NYT report, Curtis immediately answered with an emphatic “Yes!”
“There is no truth at all to the report. There are technical queries in the normal course of a large scale operation that engineers need to debate,” he told the news conference.
“All engineers that are involved in this operation are now completely comfortable with the technical solutions that have been put forward for all the pieces of the plant that are mentioned,” he added.
The NYT cited internal memos and current and former engineers on the project to back its allegation.
“The problems they detail include structural cracks, air pockets and leaks in many of the concrete shells for 70 containment tanks, some of which are larger than double-decker buses,” the paper said.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 (Bernama) -- The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded that the Lynas Corporation Ltd's rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang, is safe.
However, the Australian company must undertake improvements in various technical areas before it can proceed to the next stage of operations, it said.