21 Mar 2012 @ 9:26 AM 

Thorium-232 In Clay Soil Cannot Get Into Body Tissues
Repost comment from Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah

Dear NK Khoo,

Thorium-232 In Clay Soil Cannot Get Into Body Tissues

1. Ingestion

Thorium-232 is strongly bound (adsorbed) by soil especially clay soil. The Thorium in the clay particles is about 500,000 % higher than in the water between the clay particles.
So, it cannot be leached out by water and pollute the rivers.
When ingested there is insignificant absorption of the Thorium because of this strong bond between the clay particles and the Thorium. Practically all the Thorium will be excreted with the clay.

2. Inhalation

Because of its mass, Thorium-232 particles are very heavy and has great difficulty to get airborne.

Normally these particles get airborne only when they are very small and the only ones that can get deep into the lungs are those which are about 1 to 2 micron in diameter.

These fine particles are only found in the mines and experimental nuclear plants where powerful machines are used or where there is combustion. The chance of inhaling 1 to 2 micron sized thorium particles in the Kuantan air is practically non-existent.

All lung disorders are associated with prolonged exposure in the mines or Thoriun refining plants where the above conditions are present.

3. External Threat

Thorium-232 produces only alpha rays (gamma rays from daughter isotopes are insignificant) which cannot pass through even a thin piece of paper or the surface of the skin.
There is therefore no external threat.

4. Unnatural Routes of Entry

The only way Thorium can gain entry into the body is by injection. In the past where huge doses of 25cc to 50 cc of a 25% solution of Thorium dioxide (Thorotrast) was injected into the vein for contrast radiological studies, a small number of patients may develop cancers 20 to 30 years later. Even with these high unnatural doses, there was no acute toxicity.

In the south of the state of Kerala in India the soil contains as much as 4,000 ppm (parts of Thorium per million). Studies have shown that there is little or no accumulation of Thorium-232 in the inhabitants,
The Lynas waste contains only 1,650 ppm.

So if Thorium cannot enter the body in significant amounts by ingestion or inhalation and alpha rays do not pose an external threat, what’s all the big fuss about the Lynas rare earth plant ?

Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
FAMM, Mb.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), LRCP(London), MRCP(UK)


Dear NK Khoo,

Recently I received a few comments with regards to the various letters that I wrote about Thorium-232.

As expected, most of them are rather childish, infantile and devoid of any intellectual content and as such do not merit any response from me.

However, there are a few genuine statements which need further explanation.

One reader stated that although Thorium-232 may not be dangerous, all their “daughter” isotopes have very short half-lives like Radon-220 and these are highly radioactive, so how could we say that Thorium-232 is not dangerous.

Well, the reason is obvious. But I find great difficulty in explaining to a layman the reason why when an element with an extremely long half-life that decays into isotopes with very short half-life, there is minimal accumulation of the short half-life isotopes and as such do not build up into a large enough quantity to pose any significant hazard.

I will try to explain by this simple analogy.

If there are 2 million people waiting outside a stadium and 1 million people managed to get into the stadium after 14,000,000,000 years (half-life of Thorium-232), it means that you will see only 1 person getting into the stadium every 14,000 years.

But once in the stadium the half-life of the new person (half-life of Radon-220 from the Thorium-232 decay chain is only 55 seconds) is so short when compared with those outside (Thorium-232) that he has left the stadium almost immediately. Getting in is extremely slow but getting out is extremely fast!

Since only 1 person gets into the stadium every 14,000 years, it you look into the stadium you will see it as empty most of the time!

It is just like trying to fill up a bucket by a slow, slow drop by drop drip and the bucket has a big hole at the bottom. If you look into the bucket you will see practically little or no water in it!

Since the Lynas waste product has only 6 Bq/gm of radioactivity, the chance of detecting any significant amount of radon gas is pretty slim indeed.

Another query is the inhalation of Thorium dust.

We must remember that Thorium-232 is heavier than the so called non-radioactive Lead-208 (actually Lead-208 does decay, but since it has an even longer half-life of 19 million billion years, the radioactivity is insignificant).

Because of its mass, Thorium-232 particles are very heavy and has great difficulty to get airborne.

Normally these particles get airborne only when they are very small and the only ones that can get deep into the lungs are those which are about 1 micron in diameter.

These fine particles are only found in the mines and experimental nuclear plants where there powerful machines are used. The chance of inhaling 1 micron sized thorium particles in the Kuantan air is practically non-existent.

What we need to worry about is the inhalation of other types of far more dangerous dust particles like lead in the car exhaust fumes, silica (causing silicosis) in granite quarries, and other pneumoconiosis like abestosis and severe chronic bronchitis from coal mining.

All these lung disorders are associated with prolonged exposure in the mines.

To be very frank, I have not seen or heard or found in the scientific literature of any case of proven lung disease, death or for that matter, any disease in humans caused by Thorium-232.

Thorium-232 has not been definitely proven to have caused a single human death in the world since the beginning of recorded history!

And this should be compared with about 15,000 deaths caused by humans (murders) every year in the USA.

Worldwide, about 2 to 3 million deaths are caused by Malaria every year.

So Mosquitoes in the air is far, far more dangerous than Thorium-232 in the air!


Dear NK Khoo,

I have a special interest in nuclear medicine in the last 40 years or so. And I find that what you have said in your blog is essentially correct and honest.

It is rather painful to see how so many well educated Malaysians are being misled by irresponsible people with obvious ulterior motives.

Even the president of CAP thought that since Thorium-40 (nkkhoo says it should be -232) has a long half-life, it is extremely dangerous when the reverse is true.

Here are some more facts with regards to the Lynas controversy:

The potassium tablets that your doctor gives you for high blood pressure is highly radioactive with a radioactivity of 32 Bq/gm and we need about 2 to 3 grams of potassium per day to stay alive.

The radioactivity comes from potassium-40. This is more than 500% the radioactivity of the Lynas waste which contains only 6 Bq/gm mainly from Thorium-232.

All the potassium that we eat everyday in our food contains potassium-40 and the normal dietary potassium would give a total of about 80 Bq per day.

The so-called sodium free salt recommended by health experts to combat high blood pressure is nothing more than just highly radioactive potassium salt! Even a lot of doctors do not know this!

Thorium-232 decay produces only alpha particles which can be stopped by a piece of thin paper and cannot penetrate even the outer layer of the human skin, whereas potassium-40 in our diet produces the highly dangerous gamma and beta rays from all the 3 types of beta decay, i.e. electron emission, electron capture and positron emission.

THE LONGER THE HALF-LIFE OF A SUBSTANCE THE LESS IS THE RADIOACTIVITY and as such the less dangerous it is.

As a simple analogy, if it takes 14 billion years for half of a house to be burnt, there is no chance of anybody getting hurt. But if it takes only 14 minutes for half of the house to be burnt down, a lot of people will be injured or killed.

Thorium-232 which is found in the Lynas waste has an incredibly long half-life of 14 billion years and as such is much less radioactive than the Potassium-40 whose half-life is only 1.25 billion years.

Radioactivity in Bq (number of atoms decaying in 1 second)

Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gm
Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gm
Naturally Occurring Potassium = 31.825 Bq/gm
Lynas Rare Earth Waste = 6 Bq/gm

It has been estimated that in the worst case scenario, the radiation risk from the Lynas plant is only 0.002 mSv/yr.

In Ramsar, Iran, the naturally occurring radiation is extremely high at 260 mSv/yr. This is 13,000,000% higher than the expected worse case scenario in Kuantan.

And the people in Ramsar, Iran has been found to be healthier and live longer than the rest of the Iranians! There is also no increase in the number of cancer cases.

We are exposed to radiation all our lives. In fact we get 4,400 Bq of radiation from the Potassium-40 with a further 3,000 Bq from Carbon-14 which forms part of our body tissues.

There is no way we can escape completely from radiation. Even outer space is full of radiation. The only way we can escape from all radiation is to leave this universe! or jump into the Kuantan River and be eaten by the crocodiles. Come to think about it, this would not work either as human body has its own radioactivity.

Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah,
Kuantan.

ps. I have absolutely no link whatsoever to the Lynas Corp. or to the present Government and have absolutely nothing to gain whatsoever. I just want the people to know the facts and make up their own minds.

From the blog of NK Khoo
My stand on Lynas, I support it if ….

Lynas rare earth processing plant in Gebeng Kuantan is being sensationalized by opposition political parties and NGOs.

I did not say support or against the Lynas Plant in the past, it’s time to express my stand loud and clear now.

I support Lynas rare earth plant with conditions as stated below,

1. An independent expert panel to monitor and audit the operation and waste managament.

This requirement is to ensure Lynas Management conforms to international safety standards since our people have no confidence against BN government after the Bukit Merah scandal.

2. The plant is not located in my new village. (The same reason I used against furniture factories in my new village)

What is Thorium-232?
The early experimental nuclear reactor also using thorium as its fuel. The technology was abandoned because US military’s main goal was developing nuclear bombs through uranium enrichment in the reactors. Thorium is a safe radioactive material provided you do not inhale or eat it.

Thorium will be the future nuclear fuel. The waste will be a black gold in future if we can ensure proper waste storage.

Is Thorium-232 Hazardous?
http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/rp/factsheets/factsheets-htm/fs30th232.htm

The main pathways of exposure are ingestion and inhalation.

Because of its relative insolubility and low specific activity 232Th is not present in biological materials in significant amounts. Thorium was found to be present in the highest concentrations in the pulmonary lymph nodes and lungs, indicating that the principal source of human exposure is inhalation of suspended soil particles.

Risk is a parcel of life
Furniture factories also using certain toxic chemical in the manufacturing processes like Lynas rare earth processing plant.

The Industrial Estate in my new village is running for more than 10 year without any waste processing plant. Untreated liquid and solid toxic wastes from the factories are discharged and flowed into Muar river. Literally, waste hazard from these ill-managed furniture factories is more risky than Lynas plant.

The funny thing is not a single NGO protested against furniture factories located nearby the drinking water source at Muar river upstream.

About 1% Malaysia GDP can be created from Lynas plant when it’s fully operational is not a small and child’s business.

The ultimate loser is Malaysia for chasing out foreign investors due to ill-informed and mis-informed campaigns by certain quarters for the reasons known to them only.

I am expecting a datukship from Pahang BN government for my support to Lynas. :-)

Who is Dr. Looi Hoong Wah?

Dr.(medicine) Looi Hoong Wah is the brother of Dr. (architecture) Looi Hoong Thoong or Uncle Looi, the V-Buster antivirus programmer. Uncle Looi actually is a genius with IQ 180, and only 1 out 3 million population has such high IQ, so Malaysia has 10 geniuses with IQ 180 and above in theory.

MENSA accepts anyone with IQ > 130 as its member, only two percentile population is above IQ 130.

LYNAS: I could keep thorium safely at home

By Datuk Dr Looi Hoong Wah, Kuantan, Pahang

I JUST cannot understand what the big fuss is all about with regard to radioactivity exposure around the Lynas rare earth plant.

Thorium-232 is the only radioactive element associated with rare earth mining and it is regarded as the future green nuclear fuel.

It is present in rocks everywhere and even in its purest form, it radiates only alpha particles.

Alpha particles, which consist of two protons and two neutrons, are nothing more than helium atoms without their electrons.

These alpha particles cannot travel more than a few centimetres and cannot penetrate the human skin.

As such, you can hold a lump of pure thorium-232 in your rubber-gloved hands without any danger.

Thorium-232 does not produce dangerous gamma rays, which have high ionising energy, high frequency and short electromagnetic wavelength. These can pass though the human body and cause radiation damage.

To be frank, I would not mind keeping a few hundred kilogrammes of pure thorium-232 in my house if someone were kind enough to give me such a valuable substance.

In other words, the fear of radioactivity danger from the rare earth processing plant is unfounded and exaggerated.

What we need to worry about is the chemical toxic waste that such plants produce.

But, unfortunately, all industrial plants produce toxic waste and the only way to avoid producing these waste will be for us to remain a poor agricultural country.

 


Thanks to NK Khoo and Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah for sharing the facts.

Posted By: Aeric
Last Edit: 30 Mar 2012 @ 12:34 AM

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Responses to this post » (55 Total)

 
  1. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric Poon,

    Recently I received a lot of comments with regards to the various articles that I wrote about Thorium-232.

    As expected, most of them are rather childish, infantile and devoid of any intellectual content and as such do not merit any response from me.

    However, there are a few genuine statements which need further explanation.

    1. One reader stated that although Thorium-232 may not be dangerous, all their “daughter” isotopes have very short half-lives like Radon-220 and these are highly radioactive, so how could we say that Thorium-232 is not dangerous.

    Well, the reason is obvious. But I find great difficulty in explaining to the layman the reason why when an element with an extremely long half-life that decays into isotopes with very short half-life, there is minimal accumulation of the short half-life isotopes and as such do not build up into a large enough quantity to pose any significant hazard.

    I will try to explain by this simple analogy.
    If there are 2 million people waiting outside a stadium and 1 million people managed to get into the stadium after 14,000,000,000 years (half-life of Thorium-232), it means that you will see only 1 person getting into the stadium every 14,000 years.

    But once in the stadium the half-life of the new person (half-life of Radon-220 from the Thorium-232 decay chain is only 55 seconds) is so short when compared with those outside (Thorium-232) that he has left the stadium almost immediately. Getting in is extremely slow but getting out is extremely fast!

    Since only 1 person gets into the stadium every 14,000 years, if you look into the stadium you will see it as empty most of the time!
    It is just like trying to fill up a bucket by a slow, slow drop by drop drip and the bucket has a big hole at the bottom. If you look into the bucket you will see practically little or no water in it!
    Since the Lynas waste product has only 6 Bq/gm of radioactivity, the chance of detecting any significant amount of radon gas is pretty slim indeed.

    2. Another query is the inhalation of Thorium dust.
    We must remember that Thorium-232 is heavier than the so called non-radioactive Lead-208 (actually Lead-208 does decay, but since it has an even longer half-life of 19 million billion years, the radioactivity is insignificant).
    Because of its mass, Thorium-232 particles are very heavy and has great difficulty to get airborne.

    Normally these particles get airborne only when they are very small and the only ones that can get deep into the lungs are those which are about 1 micron in diameter.

    These fine particles are only found in the mines and experimental nuclear plants where there powerful machines are used. The chance of inhaling 1 micron sized thorium particles in the Kuantan air is practically non-existent.

    What we need to worry about is the inhalation of other types of far more dangerous dust particles like mercury and lead from power plants and in the car exhaust fumes, silica (causing silicosis) in granite quarries, and other pneumoconiosis like abestosis and severe chronic bronchitis from coal mining.

    All these lung disorders are associated with prolonged exposure in the mines.

    3. Why the Australians did not build their plant in Australia;

    It is for the same reason why Intel, Motorolla, Seagate, and hundreds of other companies choose to build their plant in Malaysia. Everything is much cheaper in Malaysia and as such it makes good commercial sense and we also gave them a prolonged period of tax breaks.

    It should also be noted that Australians are delighted that a company called Arafura is building a huge Rare Earth Processing Plant costing over A$1 Billion in Whyalla in South Australia.

    This plant is expected to produce over 1,000 high paying jobs for the Australians. Arafura must be hoping that the we would be stupid enough to stop Lynas and stop the competing with them.

    4. What about the non-radioactive toxic wastes?

    I have always maintained that the issue with the Lynas plant should be about Ordinary Chemical Toxic Wastes and NOT Radioactivity.

    But the problem is that all factories and industrial plants produce chemical and other non-radioactive toxic wastes.

    Coal fired power plants, chemical plants, Oil Palm Mills, Perwaja steel mills and even microchip and other computer associated plants like Intel, Seagate, Motorolla etc. all produce pollution with toxic non-radioactive wastes.
    So, why just pick on and crucify LYNAS and not all the others?

    Using the same logic as those anti-Lynas people, we should close down all our factories and plants and move back to the pre-war era of tapping rubber and plucking coconuts for the Big White Man!!

    To be very frank, I have not seen or heard or found in the scientific literature of any case of proven lung disease, death or for that matter, any disease in humans caused by Thorium-232.

    Thorium-232 has not been definitely proven to have caused a single human death in the world since the beginning of recorded history!

    And this should be compared with about 15,000 deaths caused by humans (murders) every year in the USA.

    Worldwide, about 2 to 3 million deaths are caused by Malaria every year.
    So Mosquitoes in the air is far, far more dangerous than Thorium-232 in the air!

    5. Thorium has been classified as a carcinogen.

    Thousands upon thousands of other chemicals, elements and agents has been classified as carcinogens, including the talc in your baby powder, and recently even drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi!
    Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, and this include 43 known carcinogens and 400 other toxins.
    Carcinogens can cause cancer only if they can get into the body tissues and in a significantly large amount.
    As explained in my other articles, Thorium-232 has great difficulty in being absorbed into the body in significant amounts by inhalation or ingestion and even in the worst case scenario in Kuantan, should not pose a risk greater than any of the other industrial plants.
    The only way Thorium can gain entry into the body is by injection. In the past where huge doses of 25cc to 50 cc of a 25%solution of Thorium dioxide (Thorotrast) was injected into the vein for contrast radiological studies, a very small number of patients were believed to have developed cancers 20 to 30 years later. Even with these extremely high unnatural doses, there was no acute toxicity.

    Remember the Tin slags from the Eastern Smelting and Straits Trading in Penang ? These, which contain the tantalium and monazite ore, and the monazite ore can be more than 3,700 % more radioactive than the Lynas waste.

    Thirteen major radioactive isotopes of tin exist of which only two – tin-121m and tin-126 – have half-lives long enough to warrant concern at
    Department of Energy (DOE) environmental management sites
    such as Hanford. Tin-121m has a half-life of 55 years, and tin-126
    has a half-life of 250,000 years; the half-lives of the other isotopes
    are less than one year. These isotopes of the tin which we have been world famous for are extremely radioactive.

    And these tin slags were used to fill up the old Penang Stadium and the roads in Penang. A lot of these has already been stolen and sold off at a huge profit, but a lot still remains in the roads in Butterworth and Penang island.

    The people in Penang have not developed Cancer so far as a result of these slags!

    Comparison of Radioactivity in Bq (number of atoms decaying in 1second)

    Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gm
    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gm
    Naturally Occurring Potassium (3 different isotopes) in our body and food =31.825 Bq/gm
    Artificially created Plutonium-238 = 634,000,000,000 Bq/gm (1/2 life=87.7years)
    Natural Building Stones = 767 Bq/gm (from IAEA)
    Lynas Rare Earth Waste = 6 Bq/gm

    Over the last 40 years or so since I developed a special interest in nuclear medicine and particle physics, I have not come across any well documented and well proven report of any human being severely injured or killed by accidental or environmental inhalation or ingestion of Thorium-232. And we need to compare this with the15,000 people murdered in the USA every year and the 2 to 3 million people killed by Malaria worldwide yearly!

    So if Thorium cannot enter the body in significant amounts by ingestion or inhalation and alpha rays do not pose an external threat, what’s all the big fuss about the Lynas rare earth plant ?

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  2. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Please have a look at this reply in the Sun Daily LETTERS to Soo Jin Hou from Stop Lynas Coalition.

    http://www.thesundaily.my/news/330835

    Thanking you

  3. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    There is an article in the Malaysian Mirror by Prof Chan Chee Khoon which claims that there is an increase in the number of leukaemia cases in children living near nuclear plants and as such implies that there is no safe level of radiation. Here is my reply to him.

    In your article you have conveniently excluded the following in order to distort the truth:

    1) The British study (COMARE) published in 2010 clearly showed that there is no increase in the number of leukaemia cases in young children living near nuclear power plants.

    This study which covers a period of over 35 years is far more comprehensive than the French study which covers only a period of 5 years.
    The research, conducted by scientists on the Committee of the Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE), found only 20 cases of childhood leukaemia within 5 km (3.1 miles) of nuclear power stations between 1969 and 2004.
    The rate was virtually the same as in areas where there were no nuclear plants.
    A study on Germany, published in 2007, did find a significantly increased risk, but the COMARE team said these findings were probably influenced by an unexplained leukaemia cluster near a nuclear plant in Krummel, north Germany, that lasted from 1990 to 2005.
    Excluding Krummel, evidence for an increased leukaemia risk among young children living close to German nuclear power plants was “extremely weak”, it said.
    The French study found that between 2002 and 2007 (only 5 years), 14 children under the age of 15 living in a 5-kilometre radius of France’s 19 nuclear power plants had been diagnosed with leukaemia.

    This number of cases (14 in 5 years) are so small that even a small unaccounted unknown factor would lead to a false statistical result.

    2) Nuclear plants are so well shielded that there is no increase in the radiation level outside the plant.
    The only type of “radiation” which cannot be shielded are the neutrinos which are created in great numbers in the nuclear reactors. But we must remember that Trillions upon Trillions of neutrinos from the sun and other sources pass through our bodies every second !

    3) The Lynas plant is not a nuclear power plant and trying to compare findings from an nuclear plant to that of an ordinary chemical plant is like trying to compare an elephant with a caterpillar !

    4) To imply that there is no safe level of radiation is like saying that there is no safe level of bacteria and other micro-organisms in the human body…. without realising that 90% of the living cells in the human body are micro-organisms. And without these micro-organisms we would not be able to stay healthy for long.

    There is now more and more evidence to suggest that we need a certain amount of radiation to stimulate our immune system in order to stay healthy.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  4. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    Sorry, there is a typo.
    The sentence “excluded the following in order to distort the truth” should read as
    “excluded the following and that may distort the true picture”.

    Thanking you.

    Dato’ Dr Looi

  5. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    The Hon Prof. Chan:

    Quote from the Hon. Professor “…childhood leukaemias observed among the children of Bukit Merah? (Recall also the inverse square law — the intensity of radiation from a radioactive particle a metre away from a human body increases a trillion-fold when that same particle sits at micron-level distances on the body’s cells and tissues.)

    Reply by Mr Ng Ai Soo

    “The inverse square law applies to trillions and trillions of particles, not just the one particle. That one particle IS the radiation only “dilutes” in a quantum sense… it otherwise remains one particle no matter how far it is from the source… so the cellular damage by that one particle is the same, no matter how far it travelled to get into the cell. But it must survive that journey into the cell and for different particles the survival rates are different.

    The Hon. Prof. Chan

    A quick response to Ng Ai Soo (?): I’m referring to macroscopic radioactive particles (e.g. thorium-containing dusts), not to a radioactive atomic nucleus nor sub-atomic particles.

    Reply by Me.

    1. In addition to the clarification by Mr Ng Ai Soo of the inappropriateness in invoking the inverse square law to just one particle, if we assume that the intensity is increased by a trillion fold, an alpha particle from Thorium-232 with an energy of 4 MeV is magnified by a factor of 1 trillion, the energy would be 0.64 Joules and this is so “intense” that all the cells that are hit, will be vaporized. We know that DEAD cells do not and cannot turn into cancer cells!

    2. Even if we are referring to thorium-containing dusts in Bukit Merah and “not to a radioactive atomic nucleus nor sub-atomic particles,”
    it would not work either because at 1 metre away, alpha particles from the Thorium-232 can travel about a couple of centimetres, and since the cells are subjected to an intensity of radiation at 1 metre = 0 units.
    Therefore at micron level, 0 multiplied by 1 Trillion is still = 0 units

    This shows that if we use retrograde calculations in these situations, we can end up with some silly results.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  6. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    All the anti-Lynas people must consider these 2 contradictions:

    1. They assume that they are “saving” the people of Kuantan from dangerous Fukushima style Radiation and preventing their descendants from congenital defects for millions of years etc.

    However, this, of course, is a blatant misconception but if we take this argument a little further, we have to ask why are they still using their computers, handphones, iPads, printers, cars etc. and all the modern facilities since all these need the rare earth elements.

    AND SOMEONE HAS TO MINE AND REFINE THESE RARE EARTH ELEMENTS !

    At present, about 97% of these rare earths are mined and refined in China. So we have to conclude that these Anti-Lynas people who continue to use all the modern facilities WOULD NOT CARE TWO HOOTS ABOUT ALL THOSE MILLIONS OF CHINESE IN CHINA WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM THE DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS OF RADIATION AND POLLUTION !

    IT IS OK FOR PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES TO SUFFER AND DIE BUT IT IS NOT OK FOR US TO SUFFER AND DIE !

    THIS TYPE OF ATTITUDE IS PURE HYPOCRASY.. HYPOCRASY AT ITS LOWEST AND MOST DESPICABLE LEVEL !

    2. If the main aim of the Anti-Lynas people were to maintain the virtual monopoly of the word market by China, then it is definitely counterproductive and obviously going to backfire as

    THIS WOULD CALL INTO QUESTION THE LOYALTY AND INTEGRITY OF ALL OVERSEAS CHINESE IN THE WHOLE WORLD AND WOULD CAUSE GREAT HARM AND INSULT TO PEOPLE OF CHINESE ORIGIN IN THE WORLD OUTSIDE CHINA !

    Warmest regards,

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  7. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    There are only 2 natural ways of getting any substance into your body:

    1. By Eating it (Ingestion) or

    2. By Breathing it (Inhalation)

    Thorium-232 in clay soil cannot get into you blood stream if you eat it because of it’s strong adsorption to clay (stuck firmly to clay).

    As explained below, you need to eat far more than 17,000 Kilograms of Lynas waste before you can get cancer in about 30 years time in your old age.

    Likewise, you need to breathe in 3.4 Kilograms of Lynas waste (in order to get 5.58 gm of Thorium or 1 vial of Thorotrast) to get cancer in about 30 years time !

    As stated, Kuantan people are not MINERS and as such it is impossible to inhale 3.4 Kilograms even in a life-time !

    Thorium-232 is harmless when outside the body as it produces only alpha rays which cannot penetrate even a thin piece of paper.

    All you have to do is to wrap it up in a piece of newspaper and it will become virtually non-radioactive.

    So if Thoriun-232 cannot get into the body in significant amount by inhalation or ingestion and it poses no external threat,

    HOW and WHY on earth IS IT CONSIDERED TO BE SO DANGEROUS BY THE ANTI-LYNAS PEOPLE ?

    My Reply to Soo Jin Hou’s Letter in the Sun Daily

    “LET’S de-politicise the Lynas issue” (Letters, March 23) refers.
    The writer said 0.02% to 0.05% of ingested thorium is absorbed and gets into the blood stream. Absorption studies were done on animals for obvious reasons, and in the vast majority of these, the thorium was not mixed with clay, which binds very strongly to the clay particles i.e. adsorbed.

    Thorium-232 is strongly bound (adsorbed) by soil especially clay soil. The thorium concentration in the clay particles is about 500,000% higher than in the water between the clay particles (the interstitial spaces of the clay particles). So, it cannot be leached out by water or intestinal juice.

    When ingested, there is insignificant absorption of the thorium because of this strong bond between clay particles and thorium. Practically all the thorium will be excreted in the faeces with the clay.
    So the actual amount of thorium that is absorbed into the blood stream when mixed with clay soil as in the case of the Lynas waste is much, much less than 0.02%.

    Since Lynas waste contains 1,650 parts of thorium per million and even if we take the inflated rate of 0.02% absorption, it would mean that to get 0.33g of thorium into the blood stream, we have to swallow 1,000kg (1 tonne) of Lynas waste!

    Practically all the data on the carcinogenic effects of thorium-232 was obtained retrospectively from the intravenous use of a massive dose of thorium dioxide called Thorotrast (a 25cc vial of a 25% colloidal suspension of thorium dioxide) in investigative radiological studies.

    Studies appear to show that a small number out of the 4 million patients who were given this massive dose of 1 or 2 vials (containing 5.58g to 11.7g of thorium) of Thorotrast, developed cancer especially of the liver 20 to 30 years later in their old age.

    So in order to get 5.58g of thorium-232 (equivalent to 1 vial of Thorotrast), we have to swallow an incredible 17,000kg or 17 tonnes of Lynas waste!

    I do not think anybody in Kuantan will be able to swallow 17 tonnes of Lynas waste … and that is assuming that the thorium-232 is not strongly adsorbed to clay particles.

    With respect to the inhalation of thorium-232, all studies were conducted on workers in the uranium or thorium mining or refining industry and not on populations in towns like Kuantan, and therefore do not apply to the present issue.

    Datuk Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    Kuantan

  8. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    LYNAS TOXIC WASTES

    And what about other pollution and/or radiation sources in the environment before Lynas even starts.

    For example, a 1,000MW coal plant after just 1 year of operation produces 6,000,000 tons of CO2, 44,000 tons of SO2, 22,000 tons of NO2, 320,000 tons of ash containing 400 tons of heavy metals (arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead etc.) and, here’s the kicker, including 5 tons or Uranium and 12 tons of Thorium from which the radon gas of both decay chains are out the chimney and into our air… and we are building TWO of these now to add to those we already have on the peninsula.

    Where do we store this waste? Does this waste go into making our roads or construction material? What is Lynas waste in comparison?! How did we manage to put up with that yearly radioactive and toxic waste, and plan to build more of the same, with no objection from the Anti-Lynas people?

    “In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.” (Quote from Scientific American)

    So to be fair we have to close down all our power plants, factories and industrial plants and go back to the good old days of plucking coconuts and tapping rubber for the BIG WHITE MAN!

    The Anti-Lynas people are adamant that we should insist that Lynas waste be sent back to Australia.
    Using the same logic, we should ask Intel, Motorolla, Seagate, Honda and all the foreign factories to send all their waste back to England, USA, Germany, Taiwan and Japan.

    I can bet with you that no SANE foreigner would be stupid enough to invest in Malaysia and with all our factories closed we would remain a poor agricultural country.

    AND OUR DESCENDANTS WILL HAVE TO SEND THEIR DAUGHTERS TO WORK AS MAIDS AND DOMESTIC SERVANTS IN MYAMMAR AND KAMPUCHEA!

    Remember the Tin slag from the Eastern Smelting and Straits Trading in Penang ? These, which contain the tantalum and monazite ore, and the monazite ore can be more than 3,700 % more radioactive than the Lynas waste.

    And these radioactive tin slag were used to fill up the old Penang Stadium and the roads in Penang. A lot of these has already been stolen and sold off at a huge profit, but a lot still remains in the roads in Butterworth and Penang island.

    The people in Penang have not developed Cancer so far as a result of these slag!

    Even ordinary Sand (crystalline silica, SiO2) is classified as a group 1 Carcinogen (a confirmed cancer causing agent), but as you know, we do not expect a huge number of people in living in the deserts or along the seashores to die from silica induced lung cancer.

    The lung cancer risk occurs only when fine sand (silica) is inhaled by miners for a prolonged period in the quarries and mines i.e. silica is not a carcinogen when ingested and of course not when injected, for nobody would allow you to inject sand into their veins.

    Thorium-232 is a very weakly radioactive substance and produces only alpha particles which cannot even penetrate a thin piece of paper.

    All you have to do is to wrap it up in a piece of newspaper and it is for all intents and purposes will become non-radioactive !

    ” Thorium-232 is considered to be a carcinogen only IF ADMINISTERED INTRAVENOUSLY AS A COLLOIDAL DISPERSION OF THORIUM-232 DIOXIDE.”

    It is not considered to be a cancer causing substance if taken orally or inhaled according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC, just like silica (sand) which is not carcinogenic if ingested.

    Anti-Lynas quote ” The USA has closed most of its mines, and so has China. In inner Mongolia, vast tracts of lands and thousands of square kilometres have been rendered hazardous, with toxic runoffs destroying everything in their path, and with high radioactivity, tainting and polluting precious water supplies.” Unquote

    I HAVE TO KEEP REPEATING THAT KUANTAN PEOPLE ARE NOT MINERS IN THE RARE EARTH OR URANIUM OR THORIUM MINES.

    The ” toxic runoffs destroying everything in their path, and with high radioactivity, tainting and polluting precious water supplies.”,
    IS FROM THE MINES AND NOT FROM THE MODERN REFINING CHEMICAL PLANTS!

    PLEASE DO NOT KEEP COMPARING US TO “THE WORKERS IN THE MINES EXPOSED TO THORIUM BY INHALATION OF FINE PARTICLES !

    ” Thorium-232 is considered to be a carcinogen only IF ADMINISTERED INTRAVENOUSLY AS A COLLOIDAL DISPERSION OF THORIUM-232 DIOXIDE.”

    AND NOBODY FROM LYNAS IS GOING AROUND IN KUANTAN INJECTING US WITH THORIUM DIOXIDE !!

    I REPEAT: KUANTAN PEOPLE ARE NOT RARE EARTH OR THORIUM MINERS !

    The rare earth miners in the case of the Lynas Rare Earth Plant are still in a place called Mount Weld in Western Australia !

    If there is any long term lung problem, the Australians are the ones who will be getting those problems and not the Kuantan people.

    Kuantan people are just ordinary traders, office workers, taxi drivers or just hanging around doing nothing in the air-conditioned malls.

    It is tantamount to claiming that since workers in the granite quarries and underground tin mines developed severe lung disease (silicosis) and lung cancer from inhaling dust containing silica (sand), the millions of tons of sand in our beaches should be relocated to somewhere safe or shipped back to…?Australia.

    Definite evidence that crystalline silica (Sand, Sio2) is associated with an increased rate of lung cancer led the International Agency for Research on
    Cancer (IARC) to conclude in 1997 that crystalline silica is a known human
    carcinogen.

    You can find the data even in Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IARC_Group_1_carcinogens

    Thanking you,

    Dato’ Dr Looi

  9. Aeric says:

    Thanks Dato’ Dr Looi for all the explanations above. I believe it is safe to live nearby the LYNAS plant.

  10. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Do Not Be Paranoid about Radiation for Radiation is Everywhere. Even Your Wife is Radioactive!

    Even our DNA is radioactive as the highly radioactive Carbon-14 which constitute a part of the DNA molecule undergoes beta decay by emission of an electron and an antineutrino and changes into Nitrogen-14.
    So even our sacred DNA changes with time as a result of this intrinsic radioactivity.

    The potassium tablets that your doctor gives you as an adjunct for high blood pressure is highly radioactive with a radioactivity of 32 Bq/gm and we need about 2 to 3 grams of potassium per day to stay alive.

    The radioactivity comes from potassium-40. This is more than 500% the radioactivity of the Lynas waste which contains only 6 Bq/gm mainly from Thorium-232.

    Potassium when taken stays in the intracellular space where the cancer sensitive chromosomes are located whereas the ingested or inhaled Thorium-232 remains in the extracellular (outside the cell) space.

    All the potassium that we eat everyday in our food contains potassium-40 and the normal dietary potassium would give a total of about 80 Bq per day.
    Compare this with the Lynas waste which produces only 6 Bq/gm

    Even your wife or husband is radioactive, with a radioactivity of 4,000 Bq from Potassium-40 and another 3,000 Bq from Carbon-14 giving a total of about 7,000 Bq!

    Since all living cells contain potassium, all types of meat, flesh, fruits, nuts and vegetables are radioactive because of the potassium-40 content.

    The so-called sodium free salt recommended by health experts to combat high blood pressure is nothing more than just highly radioactive potassium salt! Even a lot of doctors, specialists and professors do not know this!

    A miner for Potassium chloride (16.4 Bq/G) would only need to be near the big pile of the mine for about 7 hours to exceed the public dose limit of 1 mSv.
    This exposure level is same dose of radiation as working 6 months in LAMP or living 500 years near it.
    The message here is that more radioactive substances are freely sold in the shops and used as a fertilizer or eaten by us than you would otherwise thought.
    Guarapari which has a population about 100,000 is a coastal town in Brazil.
    Every year, many people visit the beach with black sand in this town for swimming and treatment of rheumatic disorders.
    The usual beach sand in Guarapari has a radiation dose of 5 microsievert/hour.
    The black sand is even higher with 131 microsievert/hour. Average radiation exposure of Guarapari is 175 milisievert/year.
    The radioactivity is originated from the mountains rich in zirconites and monazites along the coast.
    Ramsar is a city in Iran with population of more than 31,000. The average dose of radiation received by people in Ramsar is about 10 milisievert/year, and can reach level in exceed of 260 milisievert/year.
    Most of the radiation in the area is due to dissolved Radium-226 in water of 9 hot springs along with smaller amounts of uranium and thorium due to travertine (limestone) deposits.
    Kerala, a coastal belt in India. A study conducted in 1990 covered 76,000 households in 12 local councils of Karunagapally.
    The radiation at Karunagapally has been assessed at 5 to 8 milisievert/year. In certain location on the coast, it is as high as 70 milisievert/year. Thorium was mined in this area from monazites.
    Quote from Wikipepedia: “This high level of radiation does not seem to have caused ill effects on the residents of the area and even possibly has made them slightly more radioresistant, which is puzzling and has been called “radiation paradox”. It has also been reported that residents have healthier and longer lives.
    On the basis of this and other evidence including the fact that life had originated in a much more irradiated environment, some scientists have questioned the validity of linear no-threshold model, on which all radiation regulations currently depend.[17]
    Others point out that some level of radiation might actually be good for health and have a positive effect on population based on the controversial radiation hormesis model, by jump starting DNA repair mechanisms inside the cell.[1″

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  11. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    New Rare earth plants

    1. Arafura di Whayalla Australia
    2. Great Western Minerals di Steenkampskraal South Afrika
    3. Avalon Rare Metal di Thor Lake Canada
    4. Alkane di Dubbo New South Wales Australia
    5. Molycorp Inc. in Mountain Pass, California, USA

    In the past the rare earth plants in America were closed for the same reason why any mine or company close down…it had become uneconomical i.e. losing money!

    This was because at that time China was selling rare earth elements at a ridiculously low price and nobody could compete with them.

    Feb 22, 2012 :
    Molycorp Inc. said it will start up a newly constructed rare earths processing plant at its Mountain Pass, Calif., operation this week.
    Crushing and cracking operations as well as the facility’s combined heat and power plant are scheduled to come online this week, while other components—including milling and mineral extraction, rare earth oxide…

    Australians building Giant Rare Earth Plant in Australia:

    It should also be noted that Australians are delighted that a company called Arafura is building a huge Rare Earth Processing Plant costing over A$1 Billion in Whyalla in South Australia.

    This plant is expected to produce over 1,000 high paying jobs for the Australians.

    Arafura must be hoping that we are stupid enough to stop Lynas and stop competing with them.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah.
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London

  12. Aeric says:

    The Oppositions think that the project doesn’t benefit them; they thinks it just benefits the BN people. However, I think the project could provide so much job opportunities and income for the people and the country.

  13. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    The Problem: A Mountain of Lynas Waste ?

    A reader once asked ” Would it be safe to say 132,000,000,000 bq will be resulting from 22,000 tonnes of Lynas waste even though it has only 6 bq per gm?”

    Well, Thorium-232 produces only alpha rays (gamma rays from daughter isotopes are insignificant, please see below) which cannot pass through even a thin piece of paper or the surface of the skin.

    If you have a lump of pure Thorium-232, all you need to do is to wrap it up in newspaper and that will stop all the alpha radiation from getting out!

    Since alpha particles of Thorium-232 which decay with energies of 3.8 to about 4.8 MeV can travel only a couple of centimetres in air, only less than 50 micron in fluids and much less in solid material, even if you have a huge pile of Lynas waste, the external radiation would not increase by much because only a tiny percentage of thorium-232 atoms directly on the surface of the pile will be able to radiate out their alpha particles.

    Those just below the surface will remain inside the pile. Each alpha particle will just pick up 2 electrons and be converted to the simple non-radioactive helium gas.

    Even those apha particles from the surface will be converted to harmless helium gas after a few centimetres through the air.

    So all that your mountain of Lynas waste will only “radiate” harmless non-radioactive Helium gas.

    The radiation of 6 bq/gm from the weakly radioactive Thorium-232 in the Lynas waste is so low that even IAEA do not consider it significant and as such can be transported without any special permission.

    One reader stated that although Thorium-232 may not be dangerous, all their “daughter” isotopes have very short half-lives like Radon-220 and these are highly radioactive, so how could we say that Thorium-232 is not dangerous.

    Well, the reason is obvious. But I find great difficulty in explaining to the layman the reason why when an element with an extremely long half-life that decays into isotopes with very short half-life, there is minimal accumulation of the short half-life isotopes and as such do not build up into a large enough quantity to pose any significant hazard.

    I will try to explain by this simple analogy.
    If there are 2 million people waiting outside a stadium and 1 million people managed to get into the stadium after 14,000,000,000 years (half-life of Thorium-232), it means that you will see only 1 person getting into the stadium every 14,000 years.

    But once in the stadium the half-life of the new person (half-life of Radon-220 from the Thorium-232 decay chain is only 55 seconds) is so short when compared with those outside (Thorium-232) that he has left the stadium almost immediately. Getting in is extremely slow but getting out is extremely fast!

    Since only 1 person gets into the stadium every 14,000 years, if you look into the stadium you will see it as empty most of the time!

    It is just like trying to fill up a bucket by a slow, slow drop by drop drip and the bucket has a big hole at the bottom. If you look into the bucket you will see practically little or no water in it!

    Since the Lynas waste product has only 6 Bq/gm of radioactivity, the chance of detecting any significant amount of radon gas is pretty slim indeed.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  14. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Quote: From Anti-Lynas ” If you have so much confidence of its safety. Move your house and your family next to LYNAS.”

    At present I live in a bungalow with 2 acres of free-hold land about 15 miles from the Lynas Rare Earth Plant. This land and house was bought with money earned by my own sweat and tears.

    So if anyone is good enough (or rather stupid enough) to buy for me, pay for me and give it to me 2 acres of free-hold land just next to the Lynas Plant and build for me a bungalow of my own design,

    I will be most willing to move myself and all my family to live next to the Lynas plant.

    AND DON’T FORGET TO BUY AND PAY FOR ME 100,000 KILOGRAMS OF PURE THORIUM-232 AS WELL!

    I WILL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO THAT SOMEONE.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK
    *

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/16/rare-earth-a-richer-malaysia-and-a-greener-world/#comment-76493

  15. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Lynas Rare Earth Plant Contribute Significantly to our Country and Local Economies

    Even a primary school child should know that the construction of a multi-billion dollar industrial plant would bring enormous financial benefits to the local community as well as to the country.

    Construction of the plant had provided a substantial boost to suppliers of commodities like concrete and steel and manufacturers of hundreds of other components. For example, the plant had used thousands of cubic metres of concrete—as well as
    • Thousands of tons of steel and miles of piping
    • Hundreds of miles of electric wiring and hundreds of electrical components and all these are supplied by our local contractors.
    The construction of the plant itself would had added hundreds of millions to the gross domestic product.

    Each year, the plant will generate billions in sales of the rare earth (economic output) and millions more in total labor income. These figures include both direct and secondary effects. The direct effects reflect the plant’s expenditures for goods, services and labor. The secondary effects include subsequent spending attributable to the presence of the plant and its employees as plant expenditures filter through the local economy (e.g., restaurants and shops buying goods and hiring employees).

    And the subsequent production of the plant is expected to be in the billions of ringgit and this is considered to be part of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Billions more would be added to the GDP as a result of the spin-off effect.

    And when our GDP is increased by the billions, the government will be allowed to print more billions of ringgit to pay for the schools, hospitals, subsidies and scholarships etc for the people, without any devaluation of our ringgit by the foreigners.

    Key Facts
    • Each year, the plant will generate millions to billions of ringgit as a spin-off effect in sales of goods and services in the local community and millions more in total labor income.
    • Operation of the plant creates more than 350 highly paid permanent jobs. These jobs pay much more than those working the super markets or places like Kentucky Fried Chicken.
    • The permanent jobs at the plant create an equivalent number of additional jobs in the local area to provide the goods and services necessary to support the the plant work force (e.g., grocery stores, dry cleaners, car dealers). Even the sex workers in Kuantan would benefit!
    • Construction of the new plant had created up to thousands of jobs at peak construction.

    • Local contracters had benefitted enormously from the construction of the plant, in terms of hundreds of millions of ringgit

    • The yearly production of billions of ringgit of rare earth will add billions to our GDP and produce billions in export earnings (even though the money belongs to Lynas share holders, the national statistics will show up as our own in terms of GDP growth and export growth).

    In Other Words,The Plant WILL Boost Local and Country’s Economy.
    The Lynas plant WILL provide substantial economic benefits during the decades of operation. The jobs, employee’s taxes, and direct and secondary spending WILL strengthen the economy.

    SO DO NOT ASK THE NON-PHYSICAL and RATHER CHILDISH QUESTION OF WHAT BENEFIT DO MALAYSIA GET FROM THE LYNAS PLANT!

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK

  16. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Why do we have to give Lynas the 12 yrs tax free incentive?

    Quote Optiplex330:

    “Giving tax break is very common to entice people to set up business. If you are a Indian or Chinese your forebear coming from India or China know that very well. They were entice to come to Malaysia to open up the country and land were practically given free. Old people told me their land rental is a single pepper corn. Those who don’t know about tax break know zero about businesses. Having said that, I think the maximum is 10 yrs so Lynas is unusual to be given 12 years.

    A classic example: Business has to give Bumi 30% share but when Intel came to Penang, they were allowed SPECIAL treatment and don’t have to give a single share to Bumi (may be this explain the extra 2 yrs tax break?). Why? This is because the government badly wanted Intel because when they come, they will bring along an entire electronic industry to Malaysia. So while government do not directly benefited from Intel, the follow on industry created by Intel greatly benefited Malaysia. And for this reason, all responsible Malaysian should go read this document.

    And also for this reason, those who think Lynas is a only about 300 jobs and no tax revenue for Malaysia are just being short sighted. They don’t know that because of Lynas, a Green Technology industry could be born and Siemens is the 1st to annouce coming precisely because of Lynas. But because of Anti-Lynas, Siemens may pull out so there go more jobs and tax revenue for Malaysia.”

    In Other Words,The Plant WILL Boost Local and Country’s Economy.
    The Lynas plant WILL provide substantial economic benefits during the decades of operation. The jobs, employee’s taxes, and direct and secondary spending WILL strengthen the economy.

    SO DO NOT ASK THE NON-PHYSICAL and RATHER CHILDISH QUESTION OF WHAT BENEFIT DO MALAYSIA GET FROM THE LYNAS PLANT!

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK) MRCP(London)

  17. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Which is more radioactive, Potassium-40 or Thorium-232?

    Recently one professor and one nuclear scientist claimed that potassium-40 is far more radioactive than Thorium-232 and they cited the EPA (environment protection agency of American) and the WHO UNSCEAR as proof of their statements!

    One of my friends who stated that K-40 is about 62 times more radioactive than Thorium-232 was rubbished by the nuclear scientist!

    Well, that depends on what we are talking about.

    Quote ” It was written somewhere above that potassium-40 is 62 times more radioactive than thorium. That is, I am sorry to note, a complete and utter rubbish:”
    Unquote.

    1. I think what my friend was thinking about is radioactivity in terms of Bq i.e. activity rather than biological effect (Sv) when he said potassium-40 is 62 times more radioactive than Thorium-232.

    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gram
    Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gram

    Therefore potassium-40 has about 62X more Bq than Thorium-232

    Even in terms of biological effect, 1 gram of pure potassium-40 will still have a greater biological effect when compared with 1 gram of pure Thorium-232.

    ****************
    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gram

    Quote from nuclear scientist: 1 Becquerel per gram of K-40 in the soil (should actually be 1 Bq of K-40 per gram of soil) results in an increase in gamma-levels by ~0.042 microSieverts per hour (WHO UNSCEAR). Unquote

    Therefore 254,000 Bq = 10,668 microSieverts/hour
    (from 1 gram of pure potassium-40 i.e. not mixed with K-39 and K-41)

    ****************
    Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gram

    Quote from nuclear scientist: Each becquerel per gram of Th-232 (should actually be 1 Bq of K-40 per gram of soil) increases this level by ~0.604 microSv/hour.

    Therefore 4,080 Bq = 2,464 microSieverts/hour

    *************************

    10,668 microSv/hr divided by 2,464 microSv/hr = 4.33

    or the biological effect of radiation from pure Potassium-40 is actually 4.33 times more than that of pure Thorium-232.

    2. If we are talking about 1 gram of naturally occurring Potassium which contains only 0.0118% of K-40, then it is perfectly correct to say that Thorium-232 is more radioactive biologically than Potassium as the naturally occurring potassium has only 32 Bq per gram as compared to K-40 which has 254,000 Bq per gram.

    So 32 Bq of K = 1.344 microSieverts/hr while 4080 Bq of Thorium-232 = 2,464 microSieverts/hr which is far more biologically radioactive than Potassium.

    3. If we compare radioactivity in terms of becquerel (number of atoms decaying per second), 1 Bq of course is equal to 1 Bq in terms of activity.

    But in terms of PER Bq (radioactivity from only one nuclear decay) the biological effect, according to UNSCEAR, Potassium-40 and natural potassium is less radioactive biologically than Thorium-232 (but remember that 1 gm potassium-40 has 254,000 atomic decay per sec while 1 gm of Thorium-232 has only 4.080 atomic decay per second ).

    SO, BEFORE YOU RUBBISH ANYONE FOR SAYING THAT POTASSIUM-4O IS MORE RADIOACTIVE THAN THORIUM-232 OR VICE VERSA, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    It all depends on whether you are comparing activity (Bq) or biological effect (Sv), whether you are taking about pure potassium-40 or natural potassium which is composed of only 0.0118% highly radioactive K-40 and whether you are comparing Bq per gram of potassium-40 or Bq per gram of soil.

    Moreover, we have to state that the Thorium-232 is not that of pure Thorium-232 as freshly isolated pure Thorium-232 do not produce any gamma rays and as such has practically no external biological effect (the 0.09 MeV of gamma rays in freshly isolated Thorium-232 actually comes from Radium-228).

    The same arguments apply to the comparison of the cancer coefficients of potassium-40 and Thorium-232.

    In fact the nuclear scientist had to apologise and agree that it all depends on what we are trying to compare with.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah

  18. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Corrected Version.

    Which is more radioactive, Potassium-40 or Thorium-232?

    Recently one professor and one nuclear scientist claimed that potassium-40 is far LESS radioactive than Thorium-232 and they cited the EPA (environment protection agency of American) and the WHO UNSCEAR as proof of their statements!

    One of my friends who stated that K-40 is about 62 times more radioactive than Thorium-232 was rubbished by the nuclear scientist!

    Well, that depends on what we are talking about.

    Quote ” It was written somewhere above that potassium-40 is 62 times more radioactive than thorium. That is, I am sorry to note, a complete and utter rubbish:”
    Unquote.

    1. I think what my friend was thinking about is radioactivity in terms of Bq i.e. activity rather than biological effect (Sv) when he said potassium-40 is 62 times more radioactive than Thorium-232.

    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gram
    Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gram

    Therefore potassium-40 has about 62X more Bq than Thorium-232

    Even in terms of biological effect, 1 gram of pure potassium-40 will still have a greater biological effect when compared with 1 gram of pure Thorium-232.

    ****************
    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gram

    Quote from nuclear scientist: 1 Becquerel per gram of K-40 in the soil (should actually be 1 Bq of K-40 per gram of soil) results in an increase in gamma-levels by ~0.042 microSieverts per hour (WHO UNSCEAR). Unquote

    Therefore 254,000 Bq = 10,668 microSieverts/hour
    (from 1 gram of pure potassium-40 i.e. not mixed with K-39 and K-41)

    ****************
    Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gram

    Quote from nuclear scientist: Each becquerel per gram of Th-232 (should actually be 1 Bq of K-40 per gram of soil) increases this level by ~0.604 microSv/hour.

    Therefore 4,080 Bq = 2,464 microSieverts/hour

    *************************

    10,668 microSv/hr divided by 2,464 microSv/hr = 4.33

    or the biological effect of radiation from pure Potassium-40 is actually 4.33 times more than that of pure Thorium-232.

    2. If we are talking about 1 gram of naturally occurring Potassium which contains only 0.0118% of K-40, then it is perfectly correct to say that Thorium-232 is more radioactive biologically than Potassium as the naturally occurring potassium has only 32 Bq per gram as compared to K-40 which has 254,000 Bq per gram.

    So 32 Bq of K = 1.344 microSieverts/hr while 4080 Bq of Thorium-232 = 2,464 microSieverts/hr which is far more biologically radioactive than Potassium.

    3. If we compare radioactivity in terms of becquerel (number of atoms decaying per second), 1 Bq of course is equal to 1 Bq in terms of activity.

    But in terms of PER Bq (radioactivity from only one nuclear decay) the biological effect, according to UNSCEAR, Potassium-40 and natural potassium is less radioactive biologically than Thorium-232 (but remember that 1 gm potassium-40 has 254,000 atomic decay per sec while 1 gm of Thorium-232 has only 4.080 atomic decay per second ).

    SO, BEFORE YOU RUBBISH ANYONE FOR SAYING THAT POTASSIUM-4O IS MORE RADIOACTIVE THAN THORIUM-232 OR VICE VERSA, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    It all depends on whether you are comparing activity (Bq) or biological effect (Sv), whether you are taking about pure potassium-40 or natural potassium which is composed of only 0.0118% highly radioactive K-40 and whether you are comparing Bq per gram of potassium-40 or Bq per gram of soil.

    Moreover, we have to state that the Thorium-232 is not that of pure Thorium-232 as freshly isolated pure Thorium-232 do not produce any gamma rays and as such has practically no external biological effect (the 0.09 MeV of gamma rays in freshly isolated Thorium-232 actually comes from Radium-228).

    The same arguments apply to the comparison of the cancer coefficients of potassium-40 and Thorium-232.

    In fact the nuclear scientist had to apologise and agree that it all depends on what we are trying to compare with.

    Dato’ Dr Looi

  19. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Thorium-232 may not be dangerous as negligible amounts are absorbed from the gut and insignificant amount is inhaled by non-miners, but what about the dangerous accumulation of Radon gas?

    Thorium-232 produces only alpha rays (gamma rays from daughter isotopes are insignificant) which cannot pass through even a thin piece of paper or the surface of the skin.
    The 0.09 MeV gamma ray detected in freshly separated Thorium-232 actually comes from Radium-228, one of the daughter radionuclides from the Thorium-232 decay.

    If you have a lump of pure Thorium-232, all you need to do is to wrap it up in newspaper and that will stop all the alpha radiation from getting out!

    Since alpha radiation cannot go far, even if you have a huge pile of Lynas waste, the external radiation would not increase by much because only the tiny percentage of thorium-232 atoms directly on the surface of the pile will be able to radiate out their alpha particles. Those just below the surface will remain inside the pile and be converted to simple helium gas.

    Since this is a case of an element which has an extremely long half life (14 billion years) and all the daughter radionuclides have relatively very short half lives (from microseconds to 6.7 years), at equilibrium, the concentration of the daughter radionuclides is very small.

    Because the concentration of Thorium-232 in the Lynas waste is so low, the gamma radiation from the daughter isotopes are relatively low.

    As far as radon gas is concerned, it must be remembered that Radon-220 from the decay chain of Thorium-232 has a very short half life of only 55 seconds!

    As such only a tiny amount of Radon-220 (a.k.a. Thoron) within a few centimetres of the surface of a huge pile of waste will be able to live long enough to escape from the pile and see the light of day!

    A lot of people have mistaken Radon-220 from Thorium-232 decay series with the more notorious Radon-222 which has a much longer half life of 3.8 days. Radon-222 comes from Uranium-238 decay series.

    Because of its much longer half life, Radon-222 can and do accumulate in the cellars and poorly ventilated areas of domestic dwellings. Radon-222 is the gas that has been linked to lung cancers in especially non-smokers.

    So please do not blame poor Thorium-232. It does not produce any Radon-222 and as such is not guilty of radon induced lung cancers.

    The radiation of 6 Bq/gm from the weakly radioactive Thorium-232 in the Lynas waste is so low that even IAEA do not consider it significant and as such can be transported without any special permission.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

    *

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/16/rare-earth-a-richer-malaysia-and-a-greener-world/#comment-76493

  20. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    ANSWER TO NUCLEAR SCIENTIST WHO CLAIMED THAT IN PLACES WITH HIGH ENVIRONMENTAL RADIATION LIKE RAMSAR, THE INHABITANTS DO NOT SUFFER ANY ILL EFFECT BECAUSE OF ADAPTATION, FOR EXAMPLE THE CASE OF CHERNOBYL RAPID ADAPTATION TAKES PLACE AMONG THE “LIQUIDATORS”.

    Quote “the writer has forgotten the glaring fact that those inhabitants in these locations have gone through generations of adaptations “. Unquote

    REPLY: This I feel is a gross simplification of the situation. As you should know for a useful mutation to take place under a selective pressure like radiation we need the presence of millions upon millions of reproductive events.

    Those individuals without this useful mutation must be selectively eliminated through death or inability to reproduce.

    Deaths and infertility have not been a known side effect of the slow, low level radiation seen in Ramsar where the average radiation, though higher then other places, are still way below the lethal level. The average radiation level is only 10 mSv per year, though in some areas it may be as high as 260 mSv/yr.

    Humans are not like bacteria or viruses where millions or even billions of individual organisms are involved and where there is a generation change within about 20 minutes or so.

    In Ramsar, for instance the population in 2006 is only 31,000.

    In terms of useful mutation that can be transmitted to the whole population to materialise, the chance of such a mutation must be incredibly small for such a genetically tiny non-isolated population. Those 31,000 people over the years must have moved freely to and from other parts of Iran.

    For a tiny population and where the reproductive cycle is in terms of 20 years or so the number of generations must run into thousands or even more.

    Moreover, Ramsar is not an isolated island, but rather part of an easily accessible area of Iran where there are frequent movement of people and genetic material.

    As such, for that one incredible rare mutation providing resistance to radiation to be transmitted to whole non-static population is near impossible, especially when that one mutant needs to impregnate and transmit this useful gene to a whole non-static population. He must be a real SUPERMAN!

    The example of radiation accident at Chernobyl where 30 people lost their lives as a result of acute radiation syndrome is a rather poor example to explain the development of genetically transmitted radiation tolerance.

    The exposure was very acute and at a very high dose, at levels of about 100 mSv over a very short time. These are highly lethal doses and as such should obviously cause a certain number of deaths, just like any other toxin or chemical where not all that are exposed will die and as such we have such a statistical value called LD50.

    According to UNSEAR apart from increased thyroid cancers, there is no evidence of a major public health impact attributable to radiation exposure 20 years after the accident. This includes all the “liquidators” (clean-up workers) in the Chernobyl disaster.

    Although I must admit that the genetic makeup has a big influence on the severity of the damage, there are many other factors that needs to be considered like the actual dose of radiation, how acute was the dose delivered, the organs involved, the amount of various types of existing chemicals (like iodine) present in the body, the size of the person, the existing health condition etc.

    It is tantamount to saying that if a certain number of people are given 150 tablets of panadol at 30 tablets per day for five days a certain number of them will die from liver failure. The genetically tolerant patients will be “selected” by this selection pressure to pass the genes to the now panadol resistant population. This may be a fair argument.

    However, if a similar group of people were given 150 tablets of panadol at only 5 tablets per day in divided doses, this is no longer a form of selection pressure as the dosage though high is well below the danger threshold and will not cause any death from liver failure.

    The average dose of radiation received by people in Ramsar is about 10 milisievert/year, though in some cases can reach a level in excess of 260 milisievert/year.

    This radiation level of 10 mSv/year is like taking 150 tablets of panadol at 5 tablets per day in divided doses. At this low level it is not a significant evolutional selection pressure as it is way below a level which can cause rapid evolutional changes.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah.
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London).

  21. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Quote:
    “IF YOUR PLANT IS SO SAFE, IS IT SAFE FOR A PREGNANT LADY TO WORK HERE?”
    Unquote

    The answer is a big YES!, provided certain precautions are taken…just like even when crossing a road we have to take certain precautions.

    To be frank, I would have no objections if any of my family members who are pregnant want to work in the Lynas plant.

    In all the hospitals where I have worked in, I have come across many pregnant nurses, radiologists, doctors and other pregnant female staff members who worked in high radiation risk areas of the Radiology and Radiotherapy departments and I have not come across a single problem affecting the pregnancy or the baby that is related to radiation injury.

    The biggest danger to the baby is during the first trimester when development is greatest. In the 2nd and 3rd trimester, the danger is the same as that for an adult.

    All staff working in the high radiation areas are provided with a radiation dosimeter. And if the dose is exceed, the pregnant lady is relocated to an area where the radiation is much lower.

    Standards for radiation protection in the USA are established by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and its international counterpart, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Both of these organizations offer recommendations for the maximum permissible dose (MPD) of radiation to which people should be exposed.

    The MPD During Pregnancy by ICRP is 2 mSv while that of the American counterpart NRCP is even higher at 5 mSv.

    For flight attendants and pilots, the exposure to radiation are much higher and to date I have not come across any well documented report of any such personnel developing radiation induced malformations or cancers in their babies. There is of course many other reasons why it is not advisable for a flight attendant to continue flying in the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy. In the presence of an emergency, a pregnant flight attendant would be more of a liability than a help.

    In the Lynas plant, I see no reason why a pregnant woman cannot continue working well into the 3rd trimester, if she so wishes.

    Dato’ Dr Looi

  22. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    THORIUM-232, THOROTRAST, AND CANCER

    I have known about the controversy of Thorotrast (a 25 cc vail of a 25% colloidal suspension of Thorium dioxide) since I was a medical student in Manchester about 45 years ago and in fact I have been collecting a fair amount of data with regards to this contrast media.

    Thorotrast was given as a contrast media via the vein and the dose of Thorium used was huge, though this depends on the type of radiological procedure done.

    It had been estimated that as many as 4 million people were given this contrast in the 1930 to late 1950s.

    It has been claimed that there was an increase in the incidence of cancers especially of the liver.

    However, we need to consider a number of factors before we can be sure that this is the real culprit.

    1) The radiation dose from those old X-ray machines in the 1930 to 1950s are hundreds of times that of the present machines.

    For instance an 1896 X-ray machine was tested and found to have exposed the body to 1,500 times more radiation than modern technology does, largely because each image took 90 minutes to develop, dramatically increasing the patient’s cumulative exposure to the rays. By 1930 to 1950s, the radiation dose have improved a lot but still much higher than the present X-ray machines.

    Modern day X-rays require only about 21 milliseconds, and technicians place lead coverings over the body to protect vital organs from even this slight exposure.

    When we do a contrast study we do not take just one X-ray, but many, sometimes more than 20 to 50.
    So the patients who received the Thorotrast were subjected to a huge dose of X-rays from these antique X-ray machines.

    This huge dose of X-rays may be the cause of most of the cancers, we just do not know as most of the studies are unable to assess the X-ray’s dose. All these studies are done 20 to 30 years later.
    So we cannot use other patients who have X-rays done in the 1930s to 1950s as a control group since most X-rays which do not need a contrast media consist of only 1 or 2 X-ray pictures.

    2) The contrast studies are usually done for patients who are rather ill and may have multiple other disorders.
    The cancers usually appear (as most cancers do) about 20 to 30 years later when the patients reach the “cancer” age. Because of this long lapse of cause and effect, all the studies are retrospective in nature.
    And as you know, all retrospective studies are full of problems and inaccuracies.

    3) A lot of these patients, have other disorders which may also lead to cancer like alcoholic cirrhosis and hepatitis B. In fact the first case of liver cancer I saw in Manchester was an old alcoholic with severe liver cirrhosis. But he also had Thorotrast contrast study more than 20 years earlier. Because of this history, the surgeon had to report him as a Thorotrast induced cancer.

    4) With about 4 million by now old people, we are bound to come across a lot of cancer cases. So how many if any of these (taking into account all the above problems) are really caused by the radiation from the massive dose of intravenous Thorium-232… nobody can be really sure. If anybody says he can tell, then either he is lying or he does not know what he is saying.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB.,ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  23. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    CERRIE Minority Report and European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR)

    The anti-lynas group has often used the CERRIE Minority Report to claim that “There is strong evidence that current models of hazard from radioactivity inside the human body underestimate risks by at least 100 and possibly up to 1,000 times.”

    What happened at CERRIE (Committee Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters) is well known (see http://iopscience.iop.org/0952-4746/24/4/E02/pdf/jr44e1.pdf , http://www.cerrie.org/ and

    http://www.comare.org.uk which advises the UK government) and is due to two members, one of whom is Christopher Busby who, it seems, sells radiation protection kits to Fukushima survivors

    (see http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/21/christopher-busby-radiation-pills-fukushima and

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2011/nov/22/christopher-busby-nuclear-green-party ). Busby is very political and even ran for office.

    They also cited that the self-styled European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) which is an informal committee formed in 1997 following a meeting by the European Green Party which claimed that the risk from radioactive internal emitters are at least 100 to 200 times more hazardous than currently believed.

    Quote: Nick Tsurikov “The point that I would like to make is to illustrate clearly that ECRR “100-200 times” factors cannot possibly be correct – have a look:

    The ‘official’ risk of getting cancer from radiation exposure is 1 in 20,000 per 1 milliSievert of dose. So, if the hazard is ‘understated’ by, say, 200 times – it becomes 1 in 100, per 1 mSv of dose.

    Thousands of people in Malaysian amang industry and in heavy mineral sands industry world wide have been exposed to about 5 mSv every year for (let’s say, on average) 6 years of working life, so their cumulative dose was 30 mSv.

    Which means that if ECRR is correct – every third worker should be dead from cancer by now…

    And what about those who were exposed to about 20 mSv for five years or more (in any industry, uranium included) – in accordance with the ECRR coefficients – the chance is 1 in 1, so they are all dead from cancer by now…

    I do not see any cancer epidemic happening… What about all the tin miners in Malaysia in 1950’s-1970’s: they all should’ve died within several years after starting their work (as their coefficient would be close to 5 to 1…) Just some points for general consideration…”

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)
    *

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/16/rare-earth-a-richer-malaysia-and-a-greener-world/#comment-76493

  24. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Quote:The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) has warned that the Lynas rare earth processing plant will increase the risk of malignant cancers for those living in the vicinity. Unquote

    When we say “MMA says” what we really mean is that ONLY 1 DOCTOR SAYS i.e. THE PRESIDENT OF THE MMA AND NOT ALL THE DOCTORS OR EVEN THE MAJORITY OF THE DOCTORS IN THE MMA because when the president of the MMA says something he did not take a vote of all the doctors or even some of the doctors in the association!

    So this is the opinion of just the President of the MMA i.e. just 1 person and not that of ALL the doctors in the association. We have to make this very clear. HE OR SHE DEFINITELY DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME !

    We also have to realize that whenever the head or the president of any group of people says something, there will be people with ulterior motives who, if the statement suits and reinforces their own evil motives, will seize the opportunity to sensationalize the statement.

    In the worst case scenario, the radiation risk in the surrounding area will increase by only 0.002 mSv and since the risk of developing cancer is 1 per 20,000 per mSv, the increased risk is 1 in 10,000,000 for people in the Kuantan area.

    This chance is as good as striking the FOUR DIGIT LOTTERY 1 THOUSAND TIMES! Let me know if you know of someone who had struck the 4 digit lottery 1,000 times!

    But again, consider Ng Ai Soo’s comment:

    ” And what about other pollution and/or radiation sources in the environment before Lynas even starts. For example, a 1,000MW coal plant after just 1 year of operation produces 6,000,000 tons of CO2, 44,000 tons of SO2, 22,000 tons of NO2, 320,000 tons of ash containing 400 tons of heavy metals (arsenic, mercury, cadmium, lead etc.)

    And, here’s the kicker, including 5 tons or Uranium and 12 tons of Thorium from which the radon gas of both decay chains are out the chimney and into our air… and we are building TWO of these now to add to those we already have on the peninsula. ”

    “In fact, the fly ash emitted by a power plant—a by-product from burning coal for electricity—carries into the surrounding environment 100 times more radiation than a nuclear power plant producing the same amount of energy.” (Quote from Scientific American)

    The risk of getting cancer from just 1 of the many coal fired plants in Malaysia is far, far higher than that of the Lynas plant. Pollution from all our other plants and factories are just as bad.

    Why this discrimination against Lynas? Why not have a massive demonstration to call for these power plants and all our factories to be closed down and send all the waste products BACK TO AUSTRALIA, GERMANY, JAPAN, TAIWAN, ENGLAND AND THE USA.

    I AN VERY SURE THAT NO SANE INVESTOR WILL COME TO MALAYSIA and we can go back to the good old times of being a 4th word country and SEND OUR DAUGHTERS AND GRAND-DAUGHTERS TO KAMPUCHEA AND MYAMMAR TO WORK AS MAIDS AND DOMESTIC SERVANTS!

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah.

  25. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Quote: “Thorium-232 do not produce any gamma rays, but it’s daughter radionuclides do produce the dangerous penetrating gamma rays” Unquote

    Pure freshly separated Thorium-232 has only a slight alpha activity. There is no beta radiation and only a slight amount of gamma radiation (from the 0.09-MeV gamma rays which emanate from Th-228 decay).

    However, the activity from the Th-228 side of the chain is quickly re-established. A first equilibrium state is reached in about 36 days (10 half-lives of Ra-224).

    Activity then declines, as Th-228 decays faster than it is replenished by decaying Ac-228. About 3 years after separation, the activity is lower than at any other time except just after isolation.

    Activity then increases until the second equilibrium state is reached in about 60 years or so.

    Thorium-232 with all its daughter radionuclides

    Total alpha energy = 36.2 MeV per nuclear decay
    Total Gamma energy = 3.40 MeV per nuclear decay
    Total Beta energy = 5.95 MeV per nuclear decay

    Since the Lynas waste has 6 Bq/gm of activity, 1 KILOGRAM would have 6,000 Bq and that will produce 20,400 MeV of gamma ray energy from all the daughter radionuclides at equilibrium.

    20,400 MeV from 1 kg of Lynas waste = 0.0000000007808 calories or 0.000000003268 joules.

    This amount of gamma ray energy from 1 KILOGRAM of Lynas waste is not enough to tickle the backside of even a tiny little newborn caterpillar!

    The total alpha energy is much larger i.e. 36.2 MeV but since alpha radiation does not pose an external threat and Thorium in clay soil is not absorbed, and since inhalation only affects miners, it is not a problem either for the Kuantan folks. But it may be a problem for those poor Australian miners in Mount Weld in Western Australia.

    So, the Australians are the ones getting the wrong side of the deal!
    Dust particles can get deep into the lungs only if they are very small i.e. much less than 10 micron. The particles that are less than 5 microns are the ones which can get deep into the alveoli of the lungs. Larger ones are trapped by the mucus in the nose and upper respiratory tract and are coughed out or sneezed out.

    Particles of less than 5 microns can only be found in the Thorium and Uranium mines where powerful machines are used or where there is combustion.

    Since alpha radiation cannot go far (the 4.0 MeV alpha particle from Thorium-232 decay can travel only 27.8 microns in water), even if you have a huge pile of Lynas waste, the external radiation would not increase by much because only the tiny percentage of thorium-232 atoms directly on the surface of the pile will be able to radiate out their alpha particles.

    Those just below the surface will remain inside the pile and be converted to simple helium gas and those on the surface will travel only 2.54 cm into the air, picks up 2 electrons and become the harmless Helium for you to fill up your balloon.

    The beta particles which are electrons (electricity = flow of electrons) do not pose an external threat either. There are lots more high voltage electrons on your clothing as static electricity when you stay in a dry air-condition room than from the waste.

    Only gamma rays from your mountain of Lynas waste from less than 45 cm deep (depending on the type of soil and the water content) are able to see the light of day, as those deeper than that will be blocked by the layer of soil from getting out. And as shown above the amount of gamma rays are insignificant.

    When the mother radionuclide has an extremely long half life and the daughters have very short half life, there is very little accumulation of the short half life daughters.

    For instance, I did a quick calculation and found that the concentration of the daughter radionuclides is negligible e.g. there is only 1 atom of Radium 224 for every 1.4 trillion atoms of Thorium-232 at equilibrium (I stand to be corrected).

    As far as radon gas is concerned, it must be remembered that Radon-220 from the decay chain of Thorium-232 has a very short half life of only 55 seconds!

    As such only a tiny amount of Radon-220 (a.k.a. Thoron) within a few centimetres of the surface of a huge pile of waste will be able to live long enough to escape from the pile and see the light of day!

    A lot of people have mistaken Radon-220 from Thorium-232 decay series with the more notorious Radon-222 which has a much longer half life of 3.8 days. Radon-222 comes from Uranium-238 decay series.

    Because of its much longer half life, Radon-222 can and do accumulate in the cellars and poorly ventilated areas of domestic dwellings. Radon-222 is the gas that has been linked to lung cancers in especially non-smokers.

    So please do not blame poor Thorium-232. It does not produce any Radon-222 and as such is not guilty of radon induced lung cancers.

    SO WHAT’S THE BIG RADIATION PROBLEM?

    Dr HW Looi

  26. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Members of the anti-lynas crowd have been asking some very childish and ridiculous questions (repeatedly parroted, more as a means of cyber harassment than for any form of intellectual benefit).

    Some of the best examples are:

    1. If you think it is so safe why don’t you eat it?

    Answer: Since my cooked SH*T IS ALSO SAFE, would YOU like to eat it?

    (What I mean is that if something is safe or not radioactive, it does not necessarily mean that you have to eat it!)

    This chain question probably started when one of the young, naive inexperienced politicians asked another to drink drain water and since then this question has been brainlessly parroted by some of his followers.

    2. If you think it is so safe, why don’t you put it in your fridge?

    Answer: Since my cooked SH*T IS ALSO SAFE, why don’t YOU put it in YOUR fridge?

    3. If you think there is no radioactivity why don’t you live next to the Lynas plant?

    Answer (Short answer. If you want a longer answer, please refer to my posts in other blogs):

    A pigs farm or even a huge oil palm factory also do not have any significant radioactivity, so why don’t you live next to it?

    4. Can you guarantee me that the Lynas plant is 100% safe

    Answer: AND AS FAR AS THE 100% BUSINESS IS CONCERNED, THE ONLY THING IN LIFE WHICH WE CAN BE A 100% SURE OF IS THE CEMETERY AND THE LAVATORY. IF WE HAVE TO GO, WE HAVE TO GO 100%.

    5. THE MOTHER OF ALL SILLY QUESTIONS, asked by an accountant in Anti-Lynas crowd.

    Do you know the difference between

    1 sodium metal in the lab and sodium ion in sea water?
    2 iron metal power, iron oxide powder, iron salt ions?
    3 lead metal , lead oxide , lead ions of the heavy metal ?
    4 thorium metal powder, thorium hydroxide and rare earth waste thorium ions as heavy metallic ions ?

    ANSWER:

    IF YOU CAN ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS,
    I THINK I MIGHT TAKE SOME LSD AND PROCEED TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT YOU ASKED ABOVE.

    Do you know the difference between

    1 black hair on your head and brown hair in my the toilet?
    2 telekom power, purple coffee powder, blue curry powder?
    3 coconut husk, coconut roots, coconut leaves of tall Angsana trees?
    4 arsenic tetrahydrococonut, arsenic monodurian, and arsenic as rare earth waste thorium non-ionic as heavy metallic non-submersible non-iron ironic nano-ions nonsense?

    The list of infantile unintelligent questions goes on and on and on.

    All these continuously repeated and parroted non-physical questions and statements will not serve the anti-lynas objective but only characterise the anti-lynas folk as childish, non-thinking ill-informed people with IQs which I would rather not mention!

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  27. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    ADSORPTION AND SOLUBILITY

    “Thorium-232 is strongly bound (adsorbed) by soil especially clay soil. The Thorium concentration in the clay particles is about 500,000 % higher than in the water between the clay particles.

    So, it cannot be leached out by water and pollute the rivers. Even if the clay soil is washed into the rivers and sea it will not do any harm as the thorium will still be strongly attached (adsorbed) to the clay and will not dissolve into the water.”

    Quote Anti-Lynas:
    “Lynas’ snake-oil salesman forgot to tell you that the WLP waste will be roasted in concentrated acid. And in that form, thorium is highly soluble. Unquote

    The SOLUBILITY of a substance in a solute like water and ADSORPTION of the substance are 2 separate properties and not the same.

    In nature Thorium-232 is found in the form of Monazite (Ce,La,Nd,Th)PO4 i.e. the phosphate of Thorium-232. This is completely insoluble in water.

    The next most common ore is Thorite (ThSiO4) which has a gram molecular weight of 324.12 gm. This is also completely insoluble in water.

    Practically most of the other thorium compounds are artificially created in the laboratory. The most famous is Thorium dioxide (ThO2) which was used as a radiological contrast media and because it is also insoluble, it is administered intravenously as a colloidal dispersion of thorium-232 dioxide (Thorotrast)

    Huge doses of 25cc to 50 cc of a 25%solution of Thorium dioxide (Thorotrast) was injected into the vein or artery in the contrast radiological studies.

    The other Thorium salts like the fluorides, chlorides, Iodides, sulfides, selenides, tellurides, nitrides, nitrates, sulphates and other complexes are all artificially synthesized.

    All of these have varying degrees of solubility in water. The most soluble will be the nitrates, chlorides and to a lesser degree sulphates. As mentioned above, the oxides, silicates and phosphates are insoluble.

    Metallic Thorium-232 is of course totally insoluble in water.

    However, whether Thorium-232 is in the SOLUBLE OR INSOLUBLE FORM, IT IS STILL STRONGLY ADSORPED BY CLAY AND CANNOT BE LEACHED OUT BY WATER.

    The extremely dangerous herbicide Paraquat is a liquid and is extremely soluble in water. Although it is extremely soluble and dangerous, IT IS NOT LEACHED OUT OF THE SOIL and pollute the rivers because it is STRONGLY ADSORPED BY CLAY SOIL JUST LIKE THORIUM-232.

    So Lynas can continue their acid roasting of the ore and with the usual procedures taken, it should not be a problem.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah.
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London).

  28. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    What is the “safe” level of radiation?

    Public dose limits for exposure from uranium mining or nuclear plants are usually set at 1 mSv per year above background.

    The figures below are given by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and its international counterpart, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Both of these organizations offer recommendations for the maximum permissible dose (MPD) of radiation.

    General Public annual MPD by both NCRP and ICRP is 1 mSv.

    For Radiation Workers, the annual MPD is 50 mSv (NCRP) and 20 mSv (ICRP), with a cumulative MPD of 10 mSv x Age.

    MPD during pregnancy is 5 mSv (NCRP) and 2 mSv (ICRP).

    However, experts including Professor Wade Allison of Oxford University argue that the dose limit can safely be raised to 100 millisieverts, based on current health statistics.

    Compare this with the dose of 0.002 millisieverts/year of exposure for people living within 1 km of the Lynas plant in the worst case scenario (estimated by Lynas).

    This level of 0.002 mSv/yr is actually grossly overestimated because the low energy gamma rays from the Thorium-232 decay chain is able to travel less than 300 metres in air.

    Note, the average energy of most abundant emission is only 0.059 MeV, though the gamma ray from Thallium-208 decay to stable Lead-208 has a higher energy of 2.62 MeV.

    The radon-220 has a very short half life of only 55 seconds and as such cannot travel far and do not accumulate in confined spaces like the radon-222 from the Uranium decay series.

    So the actual radiation dose at a distance greater than 300 metres from the plant is approaching 0 mSv/year !

    Comparative Dosages in Biological Effect in mSv.

    Dose from natural radiation in the human body: 0.40 mSv per year

    Sleeping next to someone for 8 hours 0.02 mSv/yr (10x Lynas worst case)

    Sleeping in wooden house = 0.20 mSv/yr (100x Lynas worst case)

    Smoking a pack of cigarettes daily 0.20 mSv/yr (100x Lynas worst case)

    Slag brick and granite house = up to 2.0 mSv/yr (1,000x Lynas worst case)

    Chest X-ray = 0.10 mSv

    Medical or dental X-ray 0.39 mSv

    CT Scan (Chest) = 10 mSv

    CT Fluoroscopy of abdomen and pelvis 6 to 90 mSv (median=31 mSv)

    Average individual background radiation dose: 2 mSv per year (1.5 mSv per

    year for Australians and 3.0 mSv per year for Americans)

    Dose from atmospheric sources (mostly radon): 2 mSv per year

    Total average radiation dose for Americans: 6.2 mSv per year

    Current average dose limit for nuclear workers: 20 mSv per year

    Dose from background radiation in parts of Iran, India and Europe: 50 mSv per year

    (Source: UNSCEAR and EPA and IAEA)

    All the potassium that we eat everyday in our food contains potassium-40 and the normal dietary potassium would give a total of about 80 Bq per day.
    Compare this with the Lynas waste which produces only 6 Bq/gm

    Even your wife or husband is radioactive, with a radioactivity of 4,000 Bq from Potassium-40 and another 3,000 Bq from Carbon-14 giving a total of about 7,000 Bq!

    Sleeping next to someone (i.e. your wife or husband) for 8 hours a day will lead to an exposure of 0.02 mSv/year (Source: UNSCEAR and EPA).

    Since all living cells contain potassium, all types of meat, flesh, fruits, nuts and vegetables are radioactive because of the potassium-40 content.

    The so-called sodium free salt recommended by health experts to combat high blood pressure is nothing more than just highly radioactive potassium salt! Even a lot of doctors, specialists and professors do not know this!

    The message here is that more radioactive substances are freely sold in the shops and used as a fertilizer or eaten by us than you would otherwise thought.

    Dr. Gary H. Kramer, who is the Head of the National Internal Radiation Assessment Section at Health Canada:

    “Potassium chloride can be found in large quantities in stores selling materials for water treatment. The potassium content is about 500 g kg-
    Typically, the material is sold in 20 kg bags so each bag contains ~600 kBq of 40K giving a concentration of 30 Bq g-1. This is well above the exclusion level yet the material is handled as non-radioactive. The external dose rate in close proximity to a typical display in these types of shops would be about 150 microSv hr-1.
    A worker would only need to be near the pile for about 7 hours to exceed the public dose limit of 1 mSv.”

    Quote: Nick Tsurikov, radiation safety expert:

    ” In most countries, the current maximum permissible dose to radiation workers is 20 mSv per year averaged over five years, with a maximum of 50 mSv in any one year.

    This is over and above background exposure, and excludes medical exposure. The value originates from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and is coupled with the requirement to keep exposure as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) — taking into account social and economic factors.” Unquote.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah.
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London).

  29. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    What about the “Tragedy” in Bukit Merah?

    In Bukit Merah, the radiation comes from Thorium and Uranium which are our own and has been in Malaysia for billions of years.

    Although the radiation level is well over 37 times that of the Lynas waste, there is no definite well controlled scientific proof that the cases of leukaemia and birth defects are caused by radiation from the waste.

    COMPARISON OF RADIOACTIVITY IN Bq (Specific activity.. number of atoms decaying in 1second)

    Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gm

    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gm

    Naturally Occurring Potassium (3 different isotopes) in our body and food = 31.825 Bq/gm

    Artificially created Plutonium-238 = 634,000,000,000 Bq/gm (1/2 life=87.7 years)

    Monazite ore from Amang or Tin Tailings in Malaysia = 284 Bq/gm

    Lynas Rare Earth Waste = 6 Bq/gm

    Public dose limits for exposure from uranium mining or nuclear plants are usually set at 1 mSv per year above background.

    According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and its international counterpart, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). Both of these organizations offer recommendations for the maximum permissible dose (MPD) of radiation.

    General Public annual MPD by both NCRP and ICRP is 1 mSv.

    For Radiation Workers, the annual MPD is 50 mSv (NCRP) and 20 mSv (ICRP), with a cumulative MPD of 10 mSv x Age.

    MPD during pregnancy is 5 mSv (NCRP) and 2 mSv (ICRP).

    However, experts including Professor Wade Allison of Oxford University argue that the dose limit can safely be raised to 100 millisieverts, based on current health statistics.

    Compare this with the dose of 0.002 millisieverts/year of exposure for people living within 1 km of the Lynas plant in the worst case scenario (estimated by Lynas).

    I have seen lots of cases of leukaemia and other types of cancer as well as birth defects over the last 40 years or so and unfortunately we do not have Lynas around at that time to use as a scapegoat.

    Unscrupulous people have been using videos and pictures of patients with congenital abnormalities and other illnesses to instil fear into the population. There is absolutely no scientific proof that these cases are caused by radiation.

    Only people with ulterior motives would use pictures and videos of these unfortunate patients whose disorders have nothing to do with radiation to score political points!

    In the south of the state of Kerala in India the soil contains as much as 4,000 ppm (parts of Thorium per million). Studies have shown that there is little or no accumulation of Thorium-232 in the inhabitants.

    The Lynas waste contains only 1,650 ppm.

    It has been estimated that in the worst case scenario, the radiation risk within a 1 km radius from the Lynas plant is only 0.002 mSv/yr.

    In Ramsar, Iran, the naturally occurring radiation
    is extremely high at 260 mSv/yr.
    This is 13,000,000% higher than the expected worse case scenario in Kuantan.

    And the people in Ramsar, Iran has been found to be healthier and live longer than the rest of the Iranians! There is also no increase in the number of cancer cases.

    Remember the Tin slag from the Eastern Smelting and Straits Trading in Penang ? These, which contain the tantalum and monazite ore, and the monazite ore can be more than 3,700 % more radioactive than the Lynas waste.

    And these radioactive tin slag were used to fill up the old Penang Stadium and the roads in Penang. A lot of these has already been stolen and sold off at a huge profit, but a lot still remains in the roads in Butterworth and Penang island.

    The people in Penang have not developed Cancer so far as a result of these slag!

    The anti-Lynas people who are so paranoid about imported radiation from Australia should have a look at this paper published in the Malaysian Journal of Analytical Sciences which showed that the level of radiation in areas where tin was mined. The waste or amang contains high levels of Monazite and other minerals which are highly radioactive.

    All these old tin mine areas are well populated. Note even Kuala Lumpur is also an ex-tin mining area.

    A study was done University Technology MARA in Kg Gajah in Perak :

    Quote: ” The level of surface dose varies from one location to another, but there is a critical area which has a significantly high surface dose approaching 30 microSv/hr ” Unquote

    30 microSv/hr is about 260 mSv/year or about the same level as the highest recorded area in Ramsar!.

    Even ordinary Sand (crystalline silica, SiO2) is classified as a group 1 Carcinogen (a confirmed cancer causing agent), but as you know, we do not expect a huge number of people in living in the deserts or along the seashores to die from silica induced lung cancer.

    The lung cancer risk occurs only when fine sand (silica) is inhaled by miners for a prolonged period in the quarries and mines i.e. silica is not a carcinogen when ingested and of course not when injected for nobody would allow you to inject sand into their veins.

    Thorium-232 is a very weakly radioactive substance and produces only alpha particles which cannot even penetrate a thin piece of paper.
    All you have to do is to wrap it up in a piece of newspaper and it is for all intents and purposes, non-radioactive !

    ” Thorium-232 is considered to be a carcinogen only IF ADMINISTERED INTRAVENOUSLY AS A COLLOIDAL DISPERSION OF THORIUM-232 DIOXIDE.”
    It is not considered to be a cancer causing substance if taken orally or inhaled according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer IARC, just like silica (sand) which is not carcinogenic if ingested.

    Warmest regards,

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  30. Dato' Dr Looi Hoong Wah says:

    Dear Aeric,

    From the New Straits Times Press, Ahmad Ibrahim, Fellow of Academy of Sciences, Malaysia Quote:

    “La Rochelle, the ‘Lynas of France’

    Many would be surprised that La Rochelle has for decades been hosting a rare earths processing plant, similar to the one planned in Malaysia.

    The La Rochelle facility, which belongs to France’s Rhodia Group, has for years been operating like Lynas. Forty years to be exact. And there has been no adverse health and safety report in the tourist town.

    The Rhodia company is an active player in the rare earths business. It is a leading processor of rare earths. In fact, it’s the only fully integrated industrial player to have manufacturing operations and raw material supply both within and outside China.

    The plant in La Rochelle has been in operation for more than 50 years.

    In the early years, the plant processed rare earths ore concentrates from Australia and China just like Lynas would. For 40 years, the plant was operated in this manner, producing cerium for the world market.

    The radioactive thorium residues have been stored within the plant’s 40ha site for the past 50 years. During storage, the residues are regularly monitored by the country’s regulatory authority, the equivalent of our Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB).

    They believe the stored thorium salts will become a fuel of the future.

    What is clear is that the rare earths processing facility in La Rochelle has been operating for more than five decades without harming the population. Instead, La Rochelle has thrived over the years as an attractive tourist destination not only for the French but also for holiday-makers from other European countries and even as far away as the United States.

    Through the deployment of stringent health and safety standards, the chemical plant has been of no consequence to the local community.

    Instead, it has contributed to the local economy not only in terms of job opportunities but also tax revenues.

    After visiting La Rochelle, it beats me why there are still people who are so hung up on Lynas.”Unquote

    Quote: AELB (Atomic Energy Licensing Board, Malaysia):

    Malaysia was the world’s no. 1 producer of tin. Along with tin, there’s always Thorium and Uranium and therefore this is not Malaysia’s first facility, AELB is has experience to handle this, to overcome this and AELB is prepared.

    THERE ARE MORE THAN 10 FACILITIES THAT ARE VERY SIMILAR TO LYNAS.

    SOME OF THEM ARE PRODUCING HIGHER RESIDUES, HIGHER CONCENTRATION OF URANIUM AND THORIUM.

    AELB has been able to regulate and control these factories, so it is based on AELB experience and the experience of the industry abroad.” Unquote

    QUESTION: WHY IS IT THAT THERE ARE NO DEMONSTRATIONS BY
    THE ANTI-LYNAS FOOT-SOLDIERS AGAINST THESE 10 CHEMICAL
    PLANTS ALREADY IN MALAYSIA THAT ARE PRODUCING “WASTES
    WITH HIGHER CONCENTRATIONS OF URANIUM AND THORIUM”?

    ANSWER: 100% PURE POLITICS FROM TOXIC RADIOACTIVE POLITICIANS !

    Warmest regards,

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

  31. looihw says:

    Comment by Anti-Lynas on article by Ahmad Ibrahim,
    Fellow of Academy of Sciences, Malaysia Quote: ” It is with ridiculous and SAD to read the article and statement by our own science academician (e.g. CEO of ASM) on the rare earth processing plant in La Rochelle. Again, it just showed that how “un-informed” (or unwilling) is our so called “scientist” in finding the facts on the rare earth industry.
    The plant in La Rochelle is not like Lynas. They don’t store the waste in their vicinity, the waste is stored in a facility specialized in disposing radioactive waste.” Unquote.

    ANSWER:

    The La Rochelle plant uses Monazite-(Ce)…(Ce, La, Nd, Th, Y)PO4 and this is by far the most common and most radioactive of the 3 types of monazite ore. The other 2 types which are Monazite-(La) and Monazite-(Nd).

    The monazite from Malaysian Tin tailings has 6 to 7% Thorium-232 and has an activity of 284 Bq/g.

    WASTES
    Until the end of 1974, THE PLANT RELEASED ALL RADIOACTIVE LIQUIDS AND SOLIDS DIRECTLY INTO THE SEA (WHERE LOCALS AS WELL AS TOURISTS ARE SWIMMING)! Since, and until the end of 1990, it sent at least a part of the solid residues to the CSM. These wastes are composed, among other substances, of thorium 232, uranium 238, and their descendants (including radium 226 and 228).
    SOLID WASTES
    –A solid residue resulting from the processing prior to July 1994 and described by Andra as “Résidu solide banalisé” (RSB), solid residue made commonplace.

    As of June 1999, 8025 tons (50% moisture) with an activity of 217 GBq were on the PLANT site. The thorium 232 in the DRY PRODUCT REPRESENTED 48 Bq/g AND THE URANIUM 238, 6 Bq/g MAKING A TOTAL OF 54 Bq/G.

    Rhône-Poulenc placed 61,000 t of what Andra describes as RSB into a waste site located near its factory and belonging to the city of La Rochelle (Port de Pallice). The residues contain in particular thorium 232 (48 Bq/g dry product) and uranium 238 (6 Bq/g dry product), for a total of 1.65 TBq [Andra 00].
    –Radioactive minerals that have not been attacked. According to Andra, they have been used to fill in a part of the plant site;

    –Substances in suspension, the only residue produced by the minerals used today. 10,048 t (50% moisture) containing thorium 232 (2.6 Bq/g ) and uranium 238 (4.7Bq/g) for a total of 37 GBq are stored at the plant;

    –Tailings, containing thorium 232, uranium 238, and their descendents including radium. They are more radioactive than the RSB (see above). They are located at Cadarache and presumably in the bay of La Rochelle. They were stored for a time at the CSM.

    –Thorium nitrate and crude thorium hydroxide. The 2000 inventory of Andra states in a footnote that it does not take into consideration some 11,000 t of thorium nitrate (mass activity 1650 Bq/g) and about 20,000 t of crude thorium hydroxide (mass activity 720 Bq/g), the “historic” residue of the processing prior to mid-1994, because these substances are “commercialized at present “by Rhodia Terres Rares.

    The thorium nitrate is used in the manufacture of lamp sleeves; the hydroxide “is a potential raw material.” Apparently these substances are stored at the site [Andra 99]. The 1997 inventory of Andra listed the hydroxide as a waste.

    The waste thorium nitrate (mass activity 1650 Bq/g) has an activity which is 27,500% higher than the waste from Lynas which is only 6 Bq/g! Apparently these substances are stored at the site [Andra 99].

    8,025 TONS OF WASTE WITH AN ACTIVITY OF 217 GBq were still stored in the compounds of the plant.

    THIS “LOW RADIOACTICITY WASTE” has 48 Bq/g from Thorium 232 and 6 Bq/g from Uranium-238 giving a total of 54 Bq/g.

    You have to realise that 54 Bq/g is 900% higher than that of the Lynas waste of 6 Bq/g.
    And these wastes are still being stored in the compound of the plant.

    IF THE FRENCH ARE NOT WORRIED ABOUT 54 Bq/g OF RADIOACTIVITY, WHY ARE SOME MALAYSIANS SO FRIGHTENED OF ONLY 6 Bq/g?

    Answer: 100% pure politics from toxic radioactive politicians!

    Dato’ Dr Looi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjT1kUAy_08&feature=player_detailpage

  32. looihw says:

    Anti- Lynas QUOTE:
    Potassium-40, when absorbed, is distributed more uniformly throughout the human body, mostly in muscle tissue which is among the least radio-sensitive of the body’s tissues, Thorium entering the bloodstream localises to the bones where it is retained with a biological half-life of 22 years

    ANSWER:
    When Potassium is taken into the body it is not just concentrated in the muscles but concentrated in the INTRACELLULAR spaces of ALL CELLS where the cancer sensitive chromosomes are located!

    So to say that Potassium concentration is less in the radiosensitive cells of the blood, lymphoid tissues, testis, ovaries and intestine is definitely not in line with basic human physiology.

    It is concentrated and equally distributed in ALL INTRACELLULAR SPACES . In terms of per cell mass, it may be slightly less only in fat cells.

    Intracellular Potassium = 139 to 140 mEq
    Extracellular Potassium = 4 mEq which is tiny compared with the Intracellular Potassium.

    Thorium-232 stays mainly in the extracellular space where it is not so harmful.
    Practically all the data on the acute and long term toxicology of Thorium-232 comes from the study of Thorotrast.

    Most of the human data for thorium exposure comes from diagnostic studies. A massive dose of 1 to 2 vials of 25 ml of 25% Colloidal thorium-232 dioxide (Thorotrast) was injected into patients as a radiographic contrast medium between 1928 and 1955.

    Thorium dioxide in Thorotrast is insoluble and in a colloidal form i.e. in the form of particles. All insoluble particles are taken up by the macrophages and other cells of the reticulo-endothelial (RE) system and deposited into the tissues of the RE system i.e. the liver, spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and parts of the small intestines and not just the bones.

    In humans, where will the soluble and not particulate form of Thorium salts be deposited and what is the renal clearance and hence their biological half life ? Nobody really knows because, for obvious reasons, all studies done on Thorium are conducted on animals. The results are only applicable to rats, rabbits, cats and dogs !

    In places like Kerala, a coastal belt in India, the concentration of Thorium-232 in the soil average about 4,000 ppm.

    The radiation at Karunagapally, Kerala has been assessed at 5 to 8 milisievert/year. In certain location on the coast, it is as high as 70 milisievert/year.

    Thorium-232 is strongly adsorbed to clay and there is no natural way it can get into the body. Even the plants and fruits do not contain any Thorium in these high Thorium areas.

    The amount of Thorium in the human body is so tiny (estimated to be only 30 micrograms per body) that only extremely sophisticated equipments are able to measure the true level.

    The epidemiological data from these studies show that the primary health effects of high doses of injected Thorotrast are blood disorders and liver tumours. However, these tumours and blood disorders could have been caused by the massive doses of X-rays from the rather antique X-ray machines used at that time.

    Because these are contrast studies, more than 20 to 50 X-rays need to be taken and the dose is really massive. None of the studies have factored in this massive dose of X-rays as all the studies are done retrospectively.

    Some evidence of increased incidence of lung, pancreatic, and haematopoietic cancers was found in workers occupationally exposed to thorium via inhalation.

    However, these workers were also exposed to several other toxic agents especially Silica (SiO2) which is a group 1 carcinogen and in some cases to other radionuclides like Uranium, K-40 and Radium, so direct causation cannot be inferred.

    Inhalation of Thorium-232 by the general population like those living in the cities is practically impossible for the particles that can get into the lungs need to be between 1 to 5 microns. These tiny particles can only be found in the thorium or uranium mines or unsophisticated refineries.

    Few data are available regarding the health effects associated with low (e.g., environmental) levels of exposure from either inhalation or ingestion.

    Dr Looi

  33. looihw says:

    CONFUSION ON THE SPECIFIC ACTIVITY OF THORIUM-232 IN ONE OF THE LYNAS “WASTE” STREAM…..6.2 Bq/g or 62 Bq/g ?

    It looks like a lot of people do not have even the basic knowledge of radioactivity concentrations and the various methods of calculating the specific activity of the radionuclides, especially of the series radionuclide.

    There are essentially two ways of doing this, one is old fashioned way which use the total activity and the other is the modern currently in use and internationally accepted one and this uses only the concentration of the “mother” radionuclide.

    Old method: “Since each atom of Thorium-232 decays into 11 other atoms of other radionuclides (12 atoms involved), each Bq of Thorium-232 had been assumed to be multiplied by a factor of 10 (10 because the end result Lead-208 is considered non-radioactive though this may not be true as it still has a half life of 19 million billion years, and Bismuth-212 decays either into Polonium-212 or to Thallium-208 both of which then decay into Lead-208..so Po-212 and Tl-208 can be considered as 1 Bq only).”

    Quote: International Radiation Safety Expert Nick Tsurikov:

    ” On this basis, if a material contains 400 parts per million of thorium – its specific activity is calculated as follows:

    a) Outdated method – 400 x 4.09 (specific activity of Th-232) x 10 (number of radio nuclides in the thorium decay chain) = 16,360 Bq/kg, or 16.4 Bq/g

    b) International standard (IAEA, AELB and Australia) – 400 x 4.09 = 1,630 Bq/kg, or 1.64 Bq/g.”
    Unquote.

    The Anti-Lynas folk is now using this old fashion way of looking at specific activity to confuse the people.

    Because of all this, they claim that the Lynas “waste” is not 6.2 Bq/g but 62 Bq/g and Lynas has been misleading the people about the radioactivity.

    The truth is that nobody, except some of the Chinese in China still use this non-standard way of looking at specific activity of a series radionuclide.

    The old method has been discontinued internationally since about 1997.

    Actually, when we use the standard description “Lynas waste has only 6.2 Bq/g”, we have already factored in the radiation from all the daughter radionuclides.

    For instance, all the dose coefficients given by IAEA of 0.39 microSv/hr/Bq/g for radiation at 1 metre from a pile of Thorium, and by UNSCEAR of 0.604 microSv/hr/Bq/gm for radiation dose from an infinite field of Thorium DEMANDS THAT WE USE THE STANDARD WAY OF DESCRIBING SPECIFIC ACTIVITY i.e. 1 Bq of activity in both a series or single non-series decay means 1 atom of the “mother” radionuclide decaying.

    So as far as the dosage in terms of biological effects is concerned, whether we use the standard 6.2 Bq/g or the old Chinese way of 62 Bq/g to describe the radioactivity of the Lynas “waste”, there is NO DIFFERENCE, as, if we were to use the old Chinese 62 Bq/g, we will have to divide the IAEA and UNSCEAR coefficients by a factor of 10.

    Dato’ Dr Looi
    *

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

  34. looihw says:

    Quote:

    “Odysess Sin Ner >>………..I am interested to know how does 64,000 tons/annum of acidic thorium will behave in a swampy, wet and leaky condition. Please do not divert the topic and talk about politics that thorium is not soluble. This is truly a coward act and deceiving saying. People is talking about fact but you are mentioning about politics. Oh ya… it is pricking your bone isn’t it? Step up like a man and quench my keen to know as my statement says.” Unquote

    Answer:

    The figure of 64,000 tons per year of Thorium alleged to be produced by the Lynas plant is too ridiculous to be true.

    Let’s see…

    The Lynas ore from Mount Weld contains less than 1,600 ppm (parts per million of Thorium) so:

    1,600 tons of Thorium = 1,000,000 tons of Ore.

    64,000 tons of Thorium = 64,000 x 1 million divided by 1,600
    = 40,000,000 tons of Ore !!

    WHERE ON EARTH IS LYNAS GOING TO FIND THE SHIPS TO CARRY 40,000,000 TONS OF ORE PER YEAR FROM AUSTRALIA TO KUANTAN !!

    IF A GIANT LORRY COULD CARRY 4 TONS, WE NEED 10,000,000 LORRY LOADS TO CARRY THE ORE FROM THE PORT TO THE PLANT !

    THIS IS THE TYPE OF GROSS EXAGGERATION THAT IS VERY TYPICAL OF THE ANTI-LYNAS FOLK.

    Actually, Lynas is expected to produce about 820,000 tons of WLP in the 1st 10 years of operation or 82,000 tons of WLP per year.

    The WLP (Water Leached Purification) contains less than 1,600 ppm or 0.16 % of Thorium-232.

    As such we would expect to get only 0.0016 x 82,000 tons of Thorium per year i.e.131 tons of Thorium per year AND NOT 64,000 TONS OF THORIUM PER YEAR !

    This magical transformation of 131 tons of Thorium into 64,000 tons of Thorium reminds me of this joke:

    “For normal people 1 + 1 = 2 but for those people in the Share Market 1 + 1 = 11,”

    AND OF COURSE, FOR THE ANTI-LYNAS FOLK, 131 = 64,000 !

    Dato’ Dr Looi.
    *

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

  35. looihw says:

    *
    DO YOU KNOW THAT COFFEE HAS A RADIOACTIVITY OF 1,000 Bq/Kg?

    And yet:

    According to recent research, Coffee is good for you:

    Quote: “Mental and Medical Benefits of Coffee:

    From Medscape:

    The best part of waking up…is reducing your risk of neurodegeneration. And depression, and cancer, and cardiovascular disease… It’s becoming increasingly clear that coffee is more than just a morning routine.


    The body of data suggesting that the world’s most widely used stimulant is beneficial in a variety of mental and medical conditions is growing at a staggering rate.

    A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that COFFEE CONSUMPTION LOWERED ALL-CAUSE MORTALITY BY OVER 10% AT 13 YEAR FOLLOW-UP.” Unquote

    According to Shakespeare,

    “ALCOHOL PROVOKES THE DESIRE BUT TAKES

    AWAY THE PERFORMANCE”……. WHEREAS COFFEE

    EVOKES THE DESIRE AND REINSTATES YOUR

    PREVIOUS MAGNIFICENT PERFORMANCE !

    SO DRINK MORE COFFEE AND FORGET ABOUT THE

    RADIATION.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

    *

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

  36. Aeric says:

    Thanks, I like Coffee very much and I believe a lot of Malaysians do too, as I see cafetaria like Starbucks, Coffeebean, Oldtown, Papparich, CoffeeBox etc. always pack with coffee lovers. So far I haven’t seen any Incredible Hulk walking out from these kopitiam… just kidding… 😀

  37. looihw says:

    *
    Quote: Anti-Lynas:
    “Bukit merah (malaysia), bopal (india), chenobly (russia) and every other industries always has the same vision until it went bad.” Unquote.

    “TITANIC (BRITAIN) death = 1,496; THE EMPRESS OF IRELAND (CANADA) death = 1,012; FERRY DONA PAZ (PHILLIPINES) death = 4,340; STAR FERRY (SCANDINAVIA) death = 159; FERRY ESTONIA, death = 852 and the Costa Concordia and every other passenger ship industry has the same vision until it went bad.

    SO USING THE SAME PERVERTED UNINTELLIGENT NONSENSICAL NONPHYSICAL LOGIC,

    STOP ALL PASSENGER SHIPS FROM SAILING IN THE EVER DANGEROUS SEAS !!!!!

    Dato’ Dr Looi

    *

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0MFxBkxNX6g

  38. looihw says:

    1. Malaysian Journal of Nuclear and Related Technology

    THE ANNUAL DOSE RATE EXPOSURE FROM MALAYSIAN

    CLAY BRICK HOUSE = 0.43 mSv/year

    (215 x Lynas Worst Case Scenario)

    2. SLEEPIN IN WOODEN HOUSE = 0.20 mSv/yr

    (100x Lynas worst case)

    3. SLAG BRICK AND GRANITE HOUSE = up to 2.0 mSv/yr

    (1,000x Lynas worst case)

    SO TO ALL ANTI-LYNAS FOLKS, YOU SHOULD PITCH UP A TENT NEXT TO THE LYNAS PLANT AND SEND YOUR ENTIRE FAMILY TO LIVE NEXT TO LYNAS AS THIS IS HUNDREDS OF TIMES LESS RADIOACTIVE THAN LIVING IN YOUR PRESENT WOODEN OR BRICK HOUSES !

    Dato’ Dr Looi
    *
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjT1kUAy_08&feature=player_detailpage

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

  39. looihw says:

    A lot of people in this country, especially the Chinese, do not know the following:

    1. Malaysia is NOT a democracy with proportional representation. As such if the a segment of the population of a certain religion have only 50.01% of the votes, they can statistically end up with 100% of the seats.

    The Muslim population in Malaysia is now over 65%.

    So getting 2/3rd majority and have the Constitution changed, is not a problem at all.

    2. Once the motion for Hudud Law is tabled in the Parliament, ALL Muslims have a religious obligation to vote FOR it.

    PAS SECRETARY-GENERAL DATUK MUSTAFA ALI spoke to Sin Chew Daily in an interview over the hudud issue recently.

    Asked if Muslim MPs from the Barisan Nasional would support PAS if it moves a motion to amend the constitution to pave the way for hudud, he said:

    “Even if we do this in the Parliament, Umno will not agree to implement hudud.

    “BUT SINCE THEY ARE MUSLIMS, THEY CANNOT OPPOSE IT..”

    Dato’ Dr Looi

  40. looihw says:

    *
    RADIOACTIVITY IN THE LIFE SAVING MEDICALLY PRESCRIBED POTASSIUM.

    The potassium chloride salt that is prescribed by dieticians as an adjunct for high blood pressure therapy as well as the potassium chloride used by the medical profession, is radioactive with a radioactivity of 32 Bq/gm.
    (1 Becquerel or Bq is 1 nuclear decay per second.)

    It is a real surprise that the vast majority of doctors, including senior consultants, professors and university lecturers do not know this.

    The radioactivity comes from Potassium-40 (K-40) which is a naturally-occurring radioactive material or NORM.

    Wherever there is potassium, there is potassium-40. It constitutes 0.0117% of natural potassium.

    Potassium-40 is a beta (87.3%) and gamma (10.67%) emitter and contributes to both internal and external doses. The other 2 isotopes of potassium are K-39 and K-41 and both of these are considered to be non-radioactive.

    The total internal dose to a typical member of the population from internal radionuclides is about 0.42mSv/yr and is approximately 0.29 mSv/yr is due to the K-40 in the body. The rest of the dosage is from C-14.

    According to the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement (NCRP) and its international counterpart, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the recommendations for the maximum permissible dose (MPD) of radiation =

    General Public annual MPD by both NCRP and ICRP is 1 mSv.

    For Radiation Workers, the annual MPD is 50 mSv (NCRP) and 20 mSv (ICRP), with a cumulative MPD of 10 mSv x Age.

    MPD during pregnancy is 5 mSv (NCRP) and 2 mSv (ICRP).

    However, experts including Professor Wade Allison of Oxford University argue that the dose limit can safely be raised to 100 millisieverts, based on current health statistics.

    Data

    K-40 Half-life: 1.28 x 10^9 years

    K-40 Decay Mode:

    Gamma Rays: 1461 keV (10.7%)
    Beta decay (89.3%). The beta maximum energy is 1.31 MeV
    Electron Capture (10.7%).
    Daily intake of potassium element: 3.3 grams
    Amount of potassium element in body: 140 g to 250 g (about 4,400 Bq)

    There is a very tight homeostatic control over potassium levels in the human body. This means that the consumption of foods containing large amounts of potassium will not increase the body’s potassium content

    Because of the rare earth plant in Malaysia and the fear of dangerous radiation from the NORM Thorium-232, there was a heated argument over the question of :

    “Which is more radioactive, Potassium-40 prescribed by your doctor or Thorium-232 in the environment ?”

    In fact, one professor and one radiation specialist claimed that potassium-40 is far LESS radioactive than Thorium-232 and they cited the EPA (environment protection agency of American) and the WHO UNSCEAR as proof of their statements!

    One of my friends who stated that K-40 is about 62 times more radioactive than Thorium-232 was rubbished by the radiation specialist!

    Well, that depends on what we are talking about.

    Quote ” It was written somewhere above that potassium-40 is 62 times more radioactive than thorium. That is, I am sorry to note, a complete and utter rubbish:”
    Unquote.

    1. I think what my friend was thinking about is radioactivity in terms of Bq i.e. activity rather than biological effect (Sv) when he said potassium-40 is 62 times more radioactive than Thorium-232.

    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gram
    Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gram

    Therefore potassium-40 has about 62X more Bq than Thorium-232

    *** Even in terms of biological effect, 1 gram of pure potassium-40 will still have a greater biological effect when compared with 1 gram of pure Thorium-232.

    Pure Potassium-40 = 254,000 Bq/gram

    Quote from radiation specialist: 1 Becquerel per gram of K-40 in the soil (should actually be 1 Bq of K-40 per gram of soil) results in an increase in gamma-levels by ~0.042 microSieverts per hour (WHO UNSCEAR). Unquote

    Therefore 254,000 Bq = 10,668 microSieverts/hour
    (from 1 gram of pure potassium-40 i.e. not mixed with K-39 and K-41)

    *** Pure Thorium-232 = 4,080 Bq/gram

    Quote from radiation specialist: Each becquerel per gram of Th-232 (should actually be 1 Bq of K-40 per gram of soil) increases this level by ~0.604 microSv/hour.

    Therefore 4,080 Bq = 2,464 microSieverts/hour

    10,668 microSv/hr divided by 2,464 microSv/hr = 4.33

    or the biological effect of radiation from pure Potassium-40 is actually 4.33 times more than that of pure Thorium-232.

    2. If we are talking about 1 gram of naturally occurring Potassium which contains only 0.0118% of K-40, then it is perfectly correct to say that Thorium-232 is more radioactive biologically than Potassium as the naturally occurring potassium has only 32 Bq per gram as compared to K-40 which has 254,000 Bq per gram. (But kindly refer to Dr Gary Kramer argument below.)

    So 32 Bq of K = 1.344 microSieverts/hr while 4080 Bq of Thorium-232 = 2,464 microSieverts/hr which is far more biologically radioactive than Potassium.

    3. If we compare radioactivity in terms of becquerel (number of atoms decaying per second), 1 Bq of course is equal to 1 Bq in terms of activity.

    But in terms of PER Bq (radioactivity from only one nuclear decay) the biological effect, according to UNSCEAR, Potassium-40 and natural potassium is less radioactive biologically than Thorium-232 (but remember that 1 gm potassium-40 has 254,000 atomic decay per sec while 1 gm of Thorium-232 has only 4.080 atomic decay per second ).

    SO, BEFORE YOU RUBBISH ANYONE FOR SAYING THAT POTASSIUM-4O IS MORE RADIOACTIVE THAN THORIUM-232 OR VICE VERSA, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

    It all depends on whether you are comparing activity (Bq) or biological effect (Sv), whether you are talking about pure potassium-40 or natural potassium which is composed of only 0.0118% highly radioactive K-40 and whether you are comparing Bq per gram of potassium-40 or Bq per gram of soil.

    Moreover, we have to state that the Thorium-232 is not that of pure Thorium-232 as freshly isolated pure Thorium-232 do not produce any gamma rays and as such has practically no external biological effect (the 0.09 MeV of gamma rays in freshly isolated Thorium-232 actually comes from Radium-228 that comes from Thorium-228 which is cannot be chemically isolated from Thorium-232).

    The same arguments apply to the comparison of the cancer coefficients of potassium-40 and Thorium-232.

    In fact, the biological dose 1 metre from a large pile of Thorium-232 is actually 0.39 microSv/hr/Bq/ (IAEA). The figure given by UNSCEAR of 0.69 microSv/hr/Bq/ per gram of soil is for an infinite plain.

    Quote: Dr. Gary H. Kramer, who is the Head of the National Internal Radiation Assessment Section at Health Canada and is a world authority in radioactivity in Potassium salts :

    Quote: “Potassium chloride can be found in large quantities in stores selling materials for water treatment. The potassium content is about 500 g kg-

    Typically, the material is sold in 20 kg bags so each bag contains ~600 kBq of 40K giving a concentration of 30 Bq g-1. This is well above the exclusion level yet the material is handled as non-radioactive.

    The external dose rate in close proximity to a typical display in these types of shops would be about 150 microSv hr-1.

    A worker would only need to be near the pile for about 7 hours to exceed the public dose limit of 1 mSv.” Unquote.

    From the above statement from Dr Gary Kramer, who is a world authority in radioactivity in the Potash mines of Canada, and who also has a bone to pick with the UNSCEAR report, the biological dose from a large pile of KCl is 5 microSv/hr/Bq for K-40.

    Since, the biological dose 1 metre from a large pile of Thorium-232 is only 0.39 microSv/hr/Bq/ (IAEA).

    And the biological dose from a large pile of KCl is 5 microSv/hr/Bq for K-40,
    so in terms of per Bq, K-40 is still far more biologically active than Th-232..

    Dr Looi

  41. looihw says:

    *
    QUOTE Anti-Lynas Jade Lee: “When a few so claimed rare earth scientists came to Kuantan to speak about the safe rare earth processing, they were criticised and BOOED OUT OF TOWN IN SHAME” Unquote.

    Answer:

    THE THREE RARE EARTH SPECIALISTS FROM CHINA WHO WERE INVITED BY A FEW OF THE LOCAL ASSOCIATIONS TO ENLIGHTEN THE PEOPLE OF KUANTAN WERE RUDELY AND CRUDELY HARASSED BY THE SMSL LEADER AND HIS RED GUARDS IN A SHAMELESS AND DESPICABLE WAY.

    THESE INNOCENT FOREIGN GUESTS WERE BEING BOOED, SHOUTED AT, JEERED, MOCKED, CRITICIZED, TERRORIZED AND DEGRADED BY THESE
    DESPICABLE, UNCOUTH COMMON T^^GS WHO UNWITTINGLY DISPLAYED THEIR ABSOLUTE STUPIDITY FOR ALL TO SEE.

    THIS TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR BRINGS SHAME TO ALL MALAYSIANS AND SHOULD BE STRONGLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNED.

    THESE THREE POOR OLD CHINESE SCIENTISTS, TWO OF WHOM WERE IN THEIR 70’S, WITH YEARS OF VALUABLE EXPERIENCE, WERE FLABBERGASTED BY SUCH STUPID, CHILDISH, DISGUSTING BEHAVIOUR.

    THE USE OF SUCH THUGGERY UNEQUIVOCALLY CATEGORIZES THE USERS INTO THE LOWEST RUNG OF SOCIETY AND REFLECTS BADLY ON THEIR CHARACTER, INTELLIGENCE AND UPBRINGING !

    BECAUSE OF THEIR BULLYING TACTIC, VERY FEW PEOPLE DARE TO SPEAK UP, AND ALL THOSE WHO DARE TO DO SO ARE BEING INTIMIDATED, HARASSED AND BOYCOTTED BY THESE ZOMBIES

    May Our Good Lord Have Mercy on Their Souls.

    Dr Looi.
    *
    *
    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

  42. Aeric says:

    Ya, I agree with Dr. Looi. This type of behaviour indeed does bring shame to all Malaysians.

  43. looihw says:

    *
    Quote Monica Gasch: “If Williams comments are representative of SMSL they must be a very uneducated little group. Why repeat the same lies over & over? Repeating it does not make it true.” Unquote.

    Comments:

    Agree fully with Monica’s comments but members of the SMSL clique are using the same brainwashing techniques used by that devious demonic master brainwasher before and during the 2nd World War i.e. Hitler.

    Brainwashing techniques are based on the consistently persistent repetition of propaganda focused on just a few issues and continuously repeated in a slightly different way.

    According to Adolf Hitler in- “War Propaganda”, in volume 1, chapter 6 of Mein Kampf (1925)

    “But the most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.” Unquote.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK), MRCP(London)

    *
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=0MFxBkxNX6g

  44. looihw says:

    *
    IS THORIUM-232 THE REAL CAUSE OF CANCER IN PATIENTS INJECTED WITH THOROTRAST?

    Dosage in “Thorotrast” Fluoroscopy = ~1,000 mSv (100 Roentgens)

    Risk in developing Cancer = 1 in 20,000 per mSv

    Therefore risk with 1 Thorotrast Fluoroscopy = 1 in 20

    ~ 4 million patients, number developing Cancer = 200,000 from X-ray induced Cancers!

    SO IS IT FAIR TO CONCLUDE THAT THORIUM-232 IS A CARCINOGEN, based mainly on the results of studies on Thorotrast study alone?

    (In an attempt to prevent some injuries, A LIMIT OF 100 ROENTGENS (approximately 1,000 mSv) per fluoroscopic examination was set in New York City hospitals (Braestrup 1969)

    Please read on:

    *
    CANCER, RADIATION AND THOROTRAST

    I have known about the controversy of Thorotrast (a 25 cc vial of a 25% colloidal suspension of Thorium dioxide) since I was a medical student in Manchester about 45 years ago and in fact I have been collecting a fair amount of data with regards to this contrast media.

    Thorotrast was given as a contrast media via the vein or artery and the dose of Thorium used was huge, though this depends on the type of radiological procedure done.

    It had been estimated that as many as 4 million people were given this contrast in the 1930 to late 1950s.

    It has been claimed that there was an increase in the incidence of cancers especially of the liver.

    However, we need to consider a number of factors before we can be sure that this is the real culprit.

    1) The radiation dose from those old X-ray machines in the 1930 to 1950s are hundreds of times that of the present machines.

    For instance an 1896 X-ray machine was tested and found to have exposed the body to 1,500 times more radiation than modern technology does, largely because each image took 90 minutes to develop, dramatically increasing the patient’s cumulative exposure to the rays. By 1930 to 1950s, the radiation dose have improved a lot but still much higher than the present X-ray machines.

    Modern day X-rays require only about 21 milliseconds, and technicians place lead coverings over the body to protect vital organs from even this slight exposure.

    Even in the 50s and 60s, the dose of X-rays from Tuberculosis screening is about 100 times higher than that of today’s Chest X-Ray.

    The fluoroscope leaves the X-ray beam “on” while the physician does his examination and as such, the fluoroscope has the potential to deliver very high X-ray doses.

    In the 1920s, fluoroscopy became very popular procedure not only among radiologists, but also among many kinds of physicians.

    Radiological methods of diagnosis became so important that no investigation of a patient is considered complete without the X-rays, which generally include fluoroscopy. These studies are often carried out by a general practitioner or surgeon in his office.

    In 1942, Dr. Franz Buschke and Herbert M. Parker wrote (Buschke 1942):
    “Recently we became aware of the fact that apparently a number of pediatricians include fluoroscopy in the monthly routine examinations of infants in their care during the first and second years of life.” This pediatric practice is confirmed in Pifer 1963 and in Blatz 1970.

    After studying the radiation output of seven fluoroscopes in the offices of “reputable pediatricians selected at random,” Buschke and Parker estimated (Buschke 1942, p.527): “If the average rapid fluoroscopy by an experienced and well-adapted examiner takes twenty seconds, about 8.3 roentgens [entrance dose] will be delivered at this rate or 100 roentgens during the first year of life.” The roentgen is a dose-unit which is approximately equivalent to a rad (actually it is less as the ICRU defined the roentgen to be 2.58e -4 C/Kg in 1971)
    Fluoroscopy was popular also in hospitals.

    (Braestrup 1942, p.213):
    “During the past years, we have measured the roentgen output of large numbers of fluoroscopes, using the settings at which they are normally operated … and have found a very wide variation … Attention is called particularly to test B-116, where the R [roentgen] per minute at the panel was 127, that is, an erythema dose would be reached in about three minutes. Such a unit could be classified as a lethal diagnostic weapon and yet there are many of these still in use.”

    Of the various types of radiologic equipment, the mobile unit probably has been responsible for more radiation damage than any other piece of apparatus. These accidents have in most cases occurred while the mobile unit was used for fluoroscopy by surgeons, who apparently did not realize the high output obtained at short distances.”

    In an attempt to prevent some injuries, A LIMIT OF 100 ROENTGENS (approximately 1,000 mSv) per fluoroscopic examination was set in New York City hospitals (Braestrup 1969).

    The patients who received the Thorotrast were subjected to a huge dose of X-rays from these antique X-ray machines.

    This huge dose of X-rays may be the cause of most of the cancers, we just do not know as most of the studies are unable to assess the X-ray’s dose. All these studies are done 20 to 30 years later.
    So we cannot use other patients who have X-rays done in the 1930s to 1950s as a control group since most X-rays which do not need a contrast media consist of only 1 or 2 X-ray pictures.
    A few of the studies do have controls but these controls were cases from later years especially after 1947 when the advancement in radiological techniques and hence dosage reduction is greatest.

    It is generally accepted that the risk of radiation induced cancer is 1 in 20,000 per mSv.
    As such, a dose of about 1,000 mSv would mean a risk of 1 in 20. For 4 million patients injected with Thorotrast, THIS RADIATION WOULD GIVE RISE TO AN EXCESS OF 200,000 CASES OF RADIATION INDUCED CANCERS IN THE 4 MILLION CASES OF “THOROTRAST” PATIENTS!

    In 1953, Dade W. Moeller (then of the Public Health Service; later, president of the Health Physics Society) published an estimate that the average entrance dose per fluoroscopic examination was about 65 roentgens (about 650 mSv) at mid-century (Moeller 1953, pp.58-59).

    The use of Thorotrast was discontinued by 1953.

    2) The contrast studies are usually done for patients who are rather ill and may have multiple other disorders.
    The cancers usually appear (as most cancers do) about 20 to 30 years later when the patients reach the “cancer” age. Because of this long lapse of cause and effect, all the studies are retrospective in nature.
    And as you know, all retrospective studies are full of problems and inaccuracies.

    3) A lot of these patients, have other disorders which may also lead to cancer like alcoholic cirrhosis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. In fact the first case of liver cancer I saw in Manchester was an old alcoholic with severe liver cirrhosis. But he also had Thorotrast contrast study more than 20 years earlier. Because of this history, the surgeon had to report him as a Thorotrast induced cancer.

    4) With about 4 million by now old people, we are bound to come across a lot of cancer cases. Since the life time risk of cancer in the advanced countries is 1 in 5, there should be about 800,000 cases of cancer due to other causes.

    So how many if any of these (taking into account all the above problems) are really caused by the radiation from the massive dose of intravenous Thorium-232… nobody can be really sure. If anybody says he can tell, then either he is lying or he does not know what he is saying.

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK) MRCP(London)

  45. looihw says:

    *
    *
    SINCE ANTI-LYNAS, SPURIUS GREEN ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND POLITICS ARE TIGHTLY INTERTWINED IN MALAYSIA, HAVE A LOOK AT THIS ARTICLE IN THE NEW STRAITS TIMES PRESS, dated 15.11.12

    KOTA BARU:

    PAS’ DEWAN ULAMA YESTERDAY MADE A STAND THAT HUDUD AND SYARIAH ELEMENTS WOULD BE INTRODUCED IF THE OPPOSITION PACT HOLDS MAJORITY SEATS IN PARLIAMENT IN THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION.

    Its chief, Datuk Harun Taib, claimed that Pas’ partners in Pakatan Rakyat had agreed in general that syariah elements would be implemented when the pact led the country.

    “In Pakatan, we have generally agreed to implement not only hudud but also other syariah elements once we succeed in earning the people’s confidence to lead the country.

    “But the syariah system will be tailored along the principles of democracy. If we hold the parliamentary majority, we will get support from Parliament for the relevant laws to be passed,” he said after opening the 51st Dewan Ulama Muktamar at a resort here.

    NATURALLY, HARUN SAID, THE LEGISLATION WOULD BECOME FEDERAL LAW WHICH THE PEOPLE MUST FOLLOW.

    “Many people often oppose traffic rules but the government proceeds with their enforcement.”

    However, Harun’s claim that other Pakatan parties had agreed to the plan was immediately lambasted by Karpal Singh.

    The DAP chairman, who was taken by surprise by Harun’s statement, told the New Straits Times that at no point in time had any agreement been made by DAP on the hudud issue.

    “This is far from the truth if he’s saying that DAP leaders agreed through dialogue on the application of hudud in the country.”

    Karpal said the party’s stand against hudud remained and he did not see the need to repeat the reasons every time.

    He also said that DAP’s opposition to hudud was fundamental to the party’s existence.

    “Hudud cannot be a part of the system of this country.”
    Harun, however, claimed that other DAP leaders had no problems with Pas’ objective to introduce hudud as they had regularly held dialogues to iron out differences.

    He said even before Pakatan was formed, Pas had clarified its views on hudud with DAP on many occasions when both parties sat together to exchange their views.

    “As for Karpal, he only sounds to be disagreeable (on the hudud issue), but that does not mean he disagrees.”

    In his opening remarks at the muktamar, HARUN SAID THE IMPLEMENTATION OF HUDUD WOULD CREATE MORE EMPLOYMENT AS THERE WAS A NEED TO RECRUIT EXECUTIONERS OF PUNISHMENTS..

    Harun’s policy speech was later read out by dewan ulama vice-chairman Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed as the former was unwell.

    Additional reporting by Carisma Kapoor

    Read more: Push for hudud continues – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/push-for-hudud-continues-1.172040?cache=03d163d03edding-pred-1.1176%2F%3Fpfpentwage63dp%3A%2Fhe3d03dn63f%2F7.192944%2F7.219621#ixzz2CNVUnSkv

  46. looihw says:

    *
    *
    Have a look at this article in the Sun Newspaper

    BEST TO USE COMMON SENSE

    Posted on 20 November 2012 – 03:11am

    Azman Ujang

    THE picture on the front page of Utusan Malaysia on Nov 9 says it all. It shows hundreds of workers from the Lynas Advanced Material Plant in Kuantan kneeling and giving thanks because the plant can now begin its long-delayed operations.

    They shed tears of joy outside the High Court building after Justice Datuk Mariana Yahya rejected an application filed by three Kuantan residents for an interim injunction on the plant’s temporary operating licence (TOL).

    Clad in their yellow factory uniforms, the workers displayed banners like “Don’t disturb our rice pot”, “Who will feed our children?”, “Stop slandering Lynas”, “I really love Lynas”, and “Kuantan Lynas will be the national green technology centre”.

    The words on the banners are loaded with strong messages that tell people campaigning against Lynas to stop as claims that the rare earth plant will cause health and safety risks have been declared baseless.

    Lynas’s safety was verified by the Atomic Energy Licensing Board that granted the TOL and even by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which sent an inspection team to the plant as well as by other independent bodies. The IAEA is the highest authority for atomic energy.

    And the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), an independent science think-tank whose 226 fellows are accomplished scientists, in welcoming the High Court verdict, said that “rare earths have been vindicated”.

    ASM Fellow Ahmad Ibrahim, in his column in the New Straits Times, said the interesting part about the anti-Lynas campaign is that most of those against the project are not even residents of Gebeng near Kuantan where the plant is located.

    “Their baseless campaign on the plant’s health and safety risks is now exposed,” he declared, adding that interviews of residents in the neighbourhood have further confirmed public acceptance of the project.

    He rubbished the anti-Lynas campaign by saying that from the technology scanning that ASM regularly undertakes, rare earths have emerged as offering tremendous potential in the new expanding green economy.

    Scientists have uncovered the unique role of rare earths in many applications to improve the efficient use of energy, which is a crucial agenda in the global effort to fight climate change. In China, which accounts of some 97% of the world’s rare earth production, the strategic nature of rare earths had long been recognised by their leaders which explains why the country has invested so much into rare earths.

    Ahmad said the demand for rare earths is projected to explode in the coming years in line with the growing demand for more efficient communication systems, while mobility and miniaturisation, which feature prominently in telecommunication equipment, also rely on rare earths.

    From Day One, prominent Kuantan physician Datuk Dr Looi Hoong Wah, who has some 40 years of expertise in nuclear medicine and particle physics, has been saying that there would be “absolutely no radiation waste or any toxic waste whatsoever from the Lynas plant”.

    With Lynas now given the go ahead by the court to start production, we are going to see the multiple economic spin-offs, including attracting more investments from buyers of rare earth and joint-venture partners including Siemens from Germany which has pledged more than RM1.5 billion to operate a plant that will hire 1,200 workers.

    Meanwhile, two acid companies investing RM300 million and employing 100 staff began operations recently to supply acid to Lynas.

    Dr Looi is so incensed with the anti-Lynas campaign that he asked: “Who is going to feed the children of these 1,750 Lynas workers? They have families. In Malaysia, we don’t have any special social security and good jobs are hard to come by.”

    On the larger picture, Lynas, Australia’s biggest investment in Malaysia, can produce up to RM8 billion worth of exports annually, adding much needed value to the gross national product (GNP).

    What it means is that when GNP goes up by RM8 billion, the government can print RM8 billion worth of money to further stimulate the economy.

    So in the face of all this, why are some people, including opposition politicians, still wasting so much time and resources, including the court’s precious time, pursuing their anti-Lynas campaign when their claims have been proven to have no scientific, economic and environmental basis?

    To people like Dr Looi, the campaign was purely political especially with the general election looming.

    He might have some basis for saying so because on the political front, the most outspoken Lynas critic is first-term Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh from Parti Keadilan Rakyat. The opposition MP is of course eyeing to be re-elected.

    Just consider this – why would Australian investors spend as much as RM2.5 billion to set up the plant if it is hazardous to health as claimed by the “Save Malaysia Stop Lynas” activists?

    If these activists use their common sense, they should be able to understand that it doesn’t make sense for investors to build a plant only to see their workers falling sick one by one until the factory has to close.

    These activists are doing a great disservice to the people of Kuantan, the country at large and of course to Lynas because for every day of delay in production, the company makes huge losses.

    We can draw some parallel to this campaign with many Malaysians who over the years have lost millions, squandering their life savings and pawning their future after falling victim to sweet-talking fraudsters.

    We are all too familiar with such stories published by newspapers after the victims have met people like the indefatigable Datuk Seri Michael Chong, who heads the MCA Public Service and Complaints Department.

    When they get to people like Chong, they would normally have already lost virtually every thing.

    And of late, despite the best efforts of the media to educate the people, more and more are falling into the same traps, no thanks to the abuse of social networking media. When will they ever learn?

    While Lynas deals with rare earths, it’s most appropriate for Malaysians to stock up their common sense, which is still a rare commodity among so many.

    Azman Ujang is a former editor-in-chief of Bernama.

    http://www.thesundaily.my/news/544826

  47. looihw says:

    *
    Quote Kokchong Tan: ” How about the water treatment? what method they going to use to “remove” the polluted water before release into the river?” Unquote.

    Comment:

    WATER MANAGEMENT AT LYNAS PLANT

    1) All process wastewater from the LAMP will undergo physico-chemical and biological treatment onsite prior to discharge.

    The concentration of any residual chemical from the process (organic and inorganic) which is still remaining in the treated effluent will be monitored and assessed using the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) parameter.

    COD is defined as a measure of the oxygen-consuming capacity of inorganic and organic matter present in wastewater.

    The use of COD as an indicator for both organic and inorganic pollutants arising from industrial wastewater is an internationally accepted practice.

    (2) Under the Fifth Schedule of the Environmental Quality (Industrial Effluent) Regulations 2009, permissible limits for mercury, lead, arsenic and, other hazardous metals such as cadmium and chromium (trivalent and hexavalent) have been specified and enforced by the DOE.

    Water quality data collected from the river (at 7 locations during the high and low tides) in 2008 indicate that mercury, lead and arsenic were not detected in the river water samples despite the fact that the river has been receiving discharges from the chemical and petrochemical industries operating within the Gebeng industrial area since the 1990s.

    Sediment samples collected as part of the Lynas EIA baseline study indicate the absence of mercury and arsenic in all samples; and very low concentrations of lead.

    The treated effluent from the LAMP will NOT contain cadmium, chromium (trivalent and hexavalent), mercury or arsenic.

    Only lead will be present at 0.07 mg/l which is well below the Std. B limit of 0.5 mg/l.

    (3) The water quality modeling approach employed in the Lynas EIA is consistent with the requirements of the DOE in Malaysia.

    The modeling exercise considered the likely contribution of the Lynas discharge to the Balok River and, predicted the concentrations of key water quality parameters in the river under six scenarios representing both untreated and treated discharge.

    (4) The water quality modeling carried out for the plant, which simulates the water quality of the Balok River upon receipt of the Lynas discharge, indicates that the impact of treated effluent alone on the river water quality is very low, and is likely to be diluted by a factor of 150 by the river water.

    Although the COD within the river body at the point of the Lynas discharge is close to the Class III limits, the river BOD concentration is approximately only one-third of its standard value.

    This suggests that the oxygen consumption due to the biological decay of organic material over the short term (5 days) will be relatively small.

    COD is a measure of the total oxygen demand, but it does not give an indication of the rate at which the oxygen is consumed; BOD is comparatively a better indicator of this rate.

    The bulk dilution analysis indicated that the treated Lynas effluent would only increase both COD and BOD concentrations in the river by relatively small amounts.

    Dato’ Dr Looi

    *
    http://aliran.com/archives/monthly/2002/6e.html

  48. looihw says:

    *
    *
    LYNAS MUST REMOVE ALL WASTE FROM MALAYSIA, SAY 4 CABINET MINISTERS.

    Comment:

    It does not make any sense to say that the waste must be exported… BECAUSE THERE IS NO WASTE !

    HOW DO YOU EXPECT LYNAS TO EXPORT “NOTHING” FROM THE COUNTRY?

    IT SOUNDS SILLY TO DEMAND THAT A RESPECTABLE INTERNATIONAL COMPANY (JUST TO MASSAGE THE INFLATED EGO OF THE ANTI-LYNAS IGNORAMUS), SHOULD EXPORT “NOTHING”.

    AND I WONDER WHO IN THIS WORLD WOULD LIKE TO IMPORT OUR “NOTHING”.

    A “waste” is by definition something that is unwanted and needs to be removed as a rubbish.

    The residue from the Lynas operation is not unwanted for it can be easily converted into the 3 types of useful, profitable gypsum products.

    The operation of the plant will result in the generation of three major residue streams, namely the

    1. WLP .. Water Leach Purification Residue (WLP) from the cracking and separation process,

    2. FGD .. the Flue Gas Desulphurisation Residue (FGD) from the waste gas treatment system (scrubber) and the

    3. NUF .. Neutralisation Underflow Solids from the wastewater treatment process (NUF).

    ORE FOR LYNAS PLANT ~ 1,600 ppm (parts per million)

    TWO MOST VOLUMINOUS LYNAS “WASTE” = 12 ppm

    3rd RESIDUE STREAM = 1,500 ppm of Thorium

    AVERAGE MALAYSIAN SOIL = 20 ppm OF THORIUM

    The first two are classified as non-radioactive as its radioactivity is only half that of Malaysian soil and is much much less radioactive than the SAND THAT YOUR CHILDREN PLAY WITH in our beaches.

    Lynas will recycle them as synthetic gypsum for plaster board, magnesium rich synthetic gypsum as fertilizer and synthetic aggregate as clinker for road and other construction projects.

    Gypsum is nothing more than just hydrated Calcium Sulphate (CaSO4.2(H2O) and comes probably from the neutralization of SO2 and Sulphuric acid vapour by our own Limestone (CaCO3) or Calcium Oxide in the scrubber.

    The 3 types of Gypsum products are:

    1. Iron Phospho Gypsum from the WLP with a very low NORM and radioactivity and after dilution according to international standard, can be used as clinker for road and in the construction industry.

    2. Synthetic Gypsum with a radioactivity only 1/2 of Malaysian Soil.

    3. Magnesium Rich Gypsum also with a radioactivity only 1/2 of Malaysian Soil and is a valuable fertilizer.

    SO THE MAJOR PART OF THE RECYCLED RESIDUE PRODUCT ACTUALLY CONSISTS OF THE CALCIUM, SULPHATE AND WATER WHICH WERE BORN AND BRED IN MALAYSIA FOR BILLIONS OF YEARS.

    THE MAJOR PART OF THE SO-CALLED RECYCLED “WASTE” IS ACTUALLY NATIVE TO MALAYSIA AND IN FACT HAS MORE RIGHT TO REMAIN IN MALAYSIA THAN THE ANTI-LYNAS NINCOMPOOPS !

    The global market for synthetic gypsum is approximately 150 million tonnes per annum.

    At the current rates of production, supplies of synthetic gypsum co-products are beginning to outstrip natural gypsum, thus providing valuable new alternative materials and preserving the planet’s natural resources.

    If we insist that these valuable by-products are not allowed to be used locally and must be exported even though they are much less radioactive than our soil, then our sanity and intelligence will be questionable AND MAKE OURSELVES THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE WORLD.

    THE BIGGEST POTENTIAL BUYER OF THESE PRODUCTS WILL BE COUNTRIES LIKE SINGAPORE WHERE THE PEOPLE ARE “kiasu” BUT HAS AN INTACT BRAIN, WHILE PEOPLE IN MALAYSIA ARE NOT “KIASU” BUT HAS NO GUTS AND “KIASI”.

    IT IS RATHER IRONIC THAT WE REFUSED TO SELL TO SINGAPORE SAND WHICH IS A CARCINOGEN AND HAS TWICE THE RADIOACTIVITY OF THE GYPSUM PRODUCTS and yet we want to send the gypsum products to them cheap!

    DON’T YOU THINK THAT WE LOOK STUPID !

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK) MRCP(London)
    *

    http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/kb-council-won-t-let-hair-down-on-enforcement-1.178328

  49. looihw says:

    *
    *
    Quote Kah Yau 14.12.12: “http://www.freemalaysiakini2.com/?p=28400.” Unquote.

    Quote: ” Article in freemalaysiakini

    China expert: Lynas’ waste recycle proposal outdated

    Chun-Hua Yan, who is Cheung Kong professor of the College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, part of Peking University, said that recycling radioactive waste from a rare earth plant into gypsum, fertiliser and material for road construction, was the method adopted by China rare-earth plants in the early days and commented that it is an outdated method abandoned by China.

    I’M NOT AN EXPERT IN THIS FIELD but I believe that was the road travelled by China before but not now,” he told the media after attending an international symposium on rare earth today in Kuala Lumpur

    Yan claimed that radioactive leakage is not the hazardous risk of a rare earth plant because if the operator is willing to inject huge funds to bury the waste far from habitation and seismic areas, as well as isolated from groundwater and sealed, it would not be a problem.” Unquote

    Generally the most pressing problem for a rare earth plant, said Yan, is to deal with the fluorine gas produced during the fusion process.

    Comment:

    As is so clearly stated, the good Professor admitted that HE NOT AN EXPERT IN THIS FIELD.

    He also said that radioactive leakage is not the hazardous risk of a rare earth plant!

    SO IF RADIOACTIVITY IS NOT A HAZARDOUS RISK, WHY DO THE ANTI-LYNAS NINCOMPOOPS KEEP ON HARPING ABOUT RADIATION AND FUKUSHIMA FROM DAY 1 OF THE COMICAL ANTI-LYNAS DEBACLE?

    Quote Nick Tsurikov: “RADIATION FROM THE PLANT WILL BE UNDETECTABLE OUTSIDE THE BOUNDARIES and

    THORIUM IN OTHER WASTE IS INSOLUBLE AND CANNOT “POISON” ANY PLANTS, ANIMALS OR THE ENVIRONMENT – EVEN IN THEORY “.Unquote.

    According to Prof. Chun-Hua Yan, THE MAIN HAZARD IS THE fluorine gas produced during the fusion process. He did not specify in which part of the process fluoride is used.

    As far as I can remember getting rare-earth metals requires a multiple-step process.

    First rare-earth oxides, like cerium, praseodymium and neodymium oxide powders are exposed to hydrogen fluoride gas.

    This turns the oxide powder into a crystalline fluoride, such as the green praesodymium fluoride crystal.

    A reduction reaction and further processing turns the rare-earth fluorides into their final, pure metal forms.

    I AM NOT SURE WHETHER LYNAS SELLS THE REE IN THE OXIDE FORM OR FURTHER REFINE THEM INTO THE PURE REE METALS.

    Molycorp is selling Cerium and Lanthanum as the oxides.

    IF LYNAS SELLS ONLY RARE EARTH OXIDE OR CHLORIDE, NO HYDROGEN FLUORIDE IS NEEDED IN THE PROCESS.

    BUT WHATEVER LYNAS DOES, THE CHEMICAL PROCESS HAS BEEN REFINED AND PERFECTED BY THE REE PLANT IN LA ROCHELLE, FRANCE.

    THIS SAME PROCESS IS NOW BEING USED IN THE ULTRA-MODERN, STATE OF ART, SUPER SOPHISTICATED LYNAS REE PLANT (unlike the primitive refineries in China).

    AND THE LA ROCHELLE PLANT HAS BEEN PRODUCING RARE EARTHS SAFELY AND WITHOUT CAUSING ANY PROBLEM TO THE SEASIDE TOURIST CITY OF LA ROCHELLE FOR OVER 40 YEARS !

    Dato’ Dr Looi

    http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/kb-council-won-t-let-hair-down-on-enforcement-1.178328

    http://aliran.com/archives/monthly/2002/6e.html

  50. looihw says:

    *
    *
    FACTS

    A tiny piece of Malaysian Land 165 meters by 165 meters and 165 meters deep

    CONTAINS 98.8 TONNES OF THORIUM-232

    AND THAT IS MORE THAN THE THORIUM-232 IN ALL THE LYNAS “WASTE” ACCUMULATED IN 1 YEAR ! ! !

    *
    AVERAGE MALAYSIAN SOIL = 20 ppm OF THORIUM

    SG of MALAYSIAN SOIL = 1.1 to 1.7

    165X165X165 = 4,492,125 cubic meters

    Even if we take the SG at it’s lowest i.e. 1.1

    Mass of the soil = 4,941,375 tonnes

    Mass of Thorium-232 = 98.8 tonnes
    (4,941,375 X 0.00002)

    Lynas is expected to produce about 824,400 cubic meters of WLP in the 1st 10 years of operation or 82,440 cubic meters of WLP per year (in terms of dry weight only 32,000 tonnes in year 1 and this dry WLP has a SG of 0.7).

    If the average volume of the yearly production given by Lynas of 82,440 cubic meters of WLP refers to the dry volume of the WLP residue, then the dry weight of WLP will be = 0.7 X 82,440 = 57,709 tonnes of dry WLP per year.

    This will produce only 57,709 tonnes X 0.00165 = about 95 tonnes of Thorium-232 per year

    Dato’ Dr Looi Hoong Wah
    FAMM, MB., ChB(Manchester), MRCS(England), MRCP(UK) MRCP(London)
    *

    http://kickdefella.net/2012/04/17/lynas-negligible-radiation-but-only-toxic-chemical-waste/#more-5242

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