Less than 100 companies in Sarawak licensed to use radioactive materials

Dr Abdul Wahad (second left) speaking at a press conference. With him are Hamrah (second right), Dr Zulkifli (left) and others.

By Wilfred Pilo

KUCHING, Nov 26: Some 1,300 companies in Malaysia have licences to use radioactive materials, and from this, less than 100 companies are based in Sarawak, mainly Bintulu.

Atomic Energy Licensing Board director-general, Datuk Hamrah Mohd Ali said that over 10,000 units of radioactive materials are being used in factories across the whole country.

The board is tasked with regularly monitoring the use of nuclear technology in the country.

He told reporters this at a press conference for the Radiation Protection Conference and Workshop 2019 after it was officially launched by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at a hotel here today.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Nuclear Agency director-general, Dr Mohd Abdul Wahab Yusof who was also at the press conference said workers should always be alert of dangers when working with radioactive materials at their workplace.

He urged them to embed “safety”, “security” and “safeguard” or the three “S” into their mindset and as a daily practice in their work culture.

“By doing so, workers will always be on the alert for immediate danger in their work environment. If not, they can be exposed to these harmful materials.

“When workers understand the danger, then they can practice (safety measures) at the workplace so that not only they do not get exposed, but other people and the environment (are also not exposed to hazards).”

He said speakers at the conference will remind participants of the three “S” as well as provide new knowledge in radiation protection.

Dr Abdul Wahab also disclosed that in Malaysia, the level of safety regarding the use of a radiation source is under control and guarded under Section 304 of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act 1984.

All activities related to atomic energy and the uses of radioactive materials in the industry are under the Atomic Energy Licensing Board, he revealed.

Malaysian Radiation Protection Association (MARPA) president, Dr Zulkifli Mohamed Hashim was also present. — DayakDaily