The National Green Tribunal has asked the environment ministry to get nuclear radiation studies done before giving clearance to thermal power plants.
In an order issued this week, a bench of the tribunal headed by Justice C. V Ramulu and Dr Devendra Kumar Agrawal asked the ministry to conduct studies to measure impact of radiation from thermal power plants.
Studies in India and abroad have shown that thermal power emit more radiation than the nuclear power plants.
The tribunal asked the ministry to get the study done by involving Bhabha Atomic Research Agency or any other recognized scientific institution dealing with nuclear radiation related to fly ash generation in thermal power plants.
The study should involve the cumulative effect of a number of thermal power project located in the area on human habitation, environment and ecology, the tribunal said.
"The study shall also take into consideration the health profile of the residents within the area in which the pollutants are expected to spread from the thermal power project", the order said.
The judgment was pronounced in the case filed by Krishi Vigyan Agrogya Sanstha against the ministry related to environment clearance granted to the proposed 2,000 MW expansion of coal based thermal power unit at Nagpur district in Maharashtra.
The ministry has also been asked to make nuclear radiation impact studies part of the terms of reference of in principle approval to thermal power plants.
In another direction, the tribunal directed the ministry to issue national standards for nuclear radiation from the thermal power plants in a year's time.