Raja Abdul Aziz: We did not approve the project as nobody applied for an AELB license.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Atomic Energy Licensing Board have not issued any operating license or approval for the proposed Robert Bosch solar Photovoltaics (PV) plant in Batu Kawan, Penang.
AELB’s operating license or approval is a compulsory prerequisite for any factory or plant that produces radioactive materials as products or waste.
AELB director general Raja Abdul Aziz Raja Adnan confirmed that the board has not received any application for the controversial solar PV plant in Batu Kawan.
Speaking to The Mole Raja Abdul Aziz said, “so far we have not received any application for the Batu Kawan solar panel project.”
Raja Abdul Aziz said the project has to be evaluated by AELB despite the initial International Energy Agency (IEA) approval.
“If they do not get the approval from AELB, they will not be able to operate. This is due to the fact that the solar panel plant will produce radioactive material and we have to evaluate the level of its radioactivity,” Raja Abdul Aziz said when contacted.
A blog post in Stop The Lies pointed that the solar PV plant that the German company Robert Bosch plans to build in Batu Kawan was similar to a plant in China that was closed down due to health risks to the local population.
Penang state executive councillor Phee Boon Poh said the solar panel manufacturing plant project in Batu Kawan will proceed and had insisted the solar PV project was safe as several bodies including the IEA and DOE had vetted the project before the Penang Government gave its go-ahead.
Meanwhile former Batu Kawan Member of Parliament Huan Cheng Guan told The Mole that he was still waiting for Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s official response on the state government plans to dispose toxic radioactive waste from the solar panel plant.
“So far there is no reply from (Lim) Guan Eng. I wonder why the chief minister is so quiet. It’s unfair for him to keep mum as the people in Batu Kawan are aware of the health risks. Penangites are worried.
“If he (Guan Eng) can be so vocal about Lynas, why can’t he explain this serious radioactive toxic threat in his own backyard?” Huan who now heads Parti Cinta Malaysia questioned.
Huan had previously claimed that the state government failed to consult residents and other stakeholders before the ‘radioactive’ plant was given the green light.
In a news report he had urged Lim to disclose the details about the project especially on its waste management steps.
Huan said he will continue to pursue the matter in the best interest of Penangites.
“Like minded NGOs and environmentalists must get together and deliberate this matter in details as it involves the future of our children,” Huan added.
Kedah Gerakan youth chief Tan Keng Liang who has been highlighting the issue in his blog post echoed similar sentiment, saying that Penang government has failed to reveal precautionary actions to stop pollution or to allow the environmental disaster caused by solar photovoltaics (PV) plnat in Zhejiang, China from recurring in Penang.
Tan also said people should not compare the solar plant in Kulim and Batu Kawan as the former was built in industrial area and not residential area.
“Similar to Lynas, I would recommend for the solar PV plant in Batu Kawan to be evaluated by independent bodies and international experts as well,” Tan told The Mole.