Real-time radiation readings


(NST) – Residents here can find out realtime readings of the radiation level by checking the airborne monitoring system (AMS) placed at the district police station here. The RM1.4 million AMS was installed early this year to gauge the radiation level in the town area.

A Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd spokesman said another system was installed at the Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB) office at the compound of the Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng last year.

He said this was to allow the public to understand and to compare the readings which showed that it was well below the safe  limit of 1millisievert (mSv) per annum  for humans.

(1 millisievert is equivalent to 0.001 Sv, while a microsievert is equal 0.000001 Sv.)

Although the rare earth processing plant in Gebeng has yet to operate and none of the raw material has been brought here, he said the system would allow the public to understand and compare the readings which used the Sv (sievert) symbol for dose equivalent radiation.

Sievert evaluates the biological effects of ionising radiation as opposed to just the absorbed dose of radiation energy.

He said the dose rate in Gebeng and Kuantan was recorded at 0.17 microSv per hour while the background reading in Malaysia in 2000 was recorded at 0.051 microSv per hour.

He said AELB conducted daily monitoring of background radiation levels at 30 locations around Gebeng and the Lynas site.

The data is published on its website at aelb/malay/teks/lynas_datamonitor.asp.

Residents here, like general worker Zahari Azlan Salim, 20, of Kampung Kempadang, said they were not aware of the monitor.

“It is good to have it so that people can be reassured.”