Radioactivity in Rare Earth Refining
by electronicsrecyclingdirectory.com on 03/23/2011 - 12:02 pm |
Tags: Industry News and Views
Controlling radioactivity in rare earth refining is a well-established risk. Some sources of rare earth ore and concentrates have lower levels of radioactivity than others, but so far, none leave a processing site radiation-free. China has recognized and accommodated this risk and reality for decades. Australia failed in controlling it. Malaysia now seems willing to embrace it, using concentrates it has to import.
Recycled rare earth metals don’t have the problem. We can recover REMs without risking the health of workers and the surrounding population. Rare earths are essential to capturing solar energy, and according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, the UK—and probably most countries—won’t be able to attain renewable energy objectives unless we accelerate REM recycling—now.