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IAEA Concludes Review Mission in Malaysia

Members of an international expert safety team organized by the IAEA visit the Lynas Project, a rare earth processing facility under construction in Malaysia. (Photo: H. Kajander/IAEA)

The IAEA has concluded an independent expert mission to Malaysia to review radiation safety at the Lynas Project, a rare earth processing facility under construction near Kuantan in Pahang state.

The 10-member review team held technical meetings as well as numerous sessions to gather public views and hear concerns about the facility. It also met Lynas Project staff and visited the construction site during its week-long mission, which was carried out at the invitation of the Malaysian Government.

"The meetings and interviews were transparent, open and were held with a good working atmosphere and cooperation with all the parties," said the IAEA's Tero Varjoranta, the team leader. "The public submissions were important for understanding concerns and for discussing radiation safety aspects of the project."

The team will compare the information gathered against relevant international radiation safety standards and good practices. Its report and recommendations will be provided to the Malaysian Government by the end of June, and the IAEA has encouraged the Government to make the report public.


On 3 May 2011, a high-level delegation representing the Malaysian government met IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano to request the Agency to organize an independent panel of international experts to review the radiation health and safety aspects of the Lynas Project.

Support for the international expert mission to review the Lynas Project is being provided through its IAEA Technical Cooperation Programme, and will focus on the project's compliance with relevant international Safety Standards and Good Practices, and to provide an independent expert opinion on the radiological safety aspects of the Lynas Project.

The members of the independent, international expert panel are knowledgeable with IAEA Safety Standards and have broad professional experience in their respective disciplines, in particular those radiological safety aspects related to rare earth processing and Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials, as well as regulatory control, radiation protection for workers, the public and the environment, in addition to expertise in safety assessments, waste management, environmental monitoring and surveillance, decommissioning and environmental remediation and transport safety.

Malaysia actively participates in the Asian Nuclear Safety Network and strongly supports the Network as the main instrument to improve nuclear safety in the region.

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