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Case Study on Effects of Uranium Radiations in Jadugoda Using GIS and Remote Sensing

Aditya Kumar
Symbiosis Institute of Geoinformatics

Ashish Kumar Gupta
Symbiosis Institute of Geoinformatics


India is the big nation where population exceeded 1 billion in May 2000. The land area is 3,290,000km2. The Gross Net Produce (GNP) is 345 dollars per person .The ratio of agriculture, forestry, and fishery worker is 61.6% (1995). In India there are thirty states and Jharkhand is the 28th state of the country. It is a mineral rich state and the iron ore brought the first full-scale industrial city in India “Jamshedpur (Tatanagar)".

Meanwhile, India has made efforts for the development of the nuclear power generation in order to utilize the rich thorium resources. Though it is 1957 that the nuclear reactor becomes criticality for the first time in Japan, the nuclear reactor becomes criticality in 1956 in India. It was the first nuclear reactor in Asia. Now 14 nuclear power plants are under operation and the total generating power is 2.72GW. Two reactors are boiling water reactor plants introduced from U.S.A. And two are CANDU reactors introduced from Canada, and then 10 of the remainder are the heavy water boiling reactors of the original development. In addition, 9 nuclear power plants are under construction including 2 Russian type pressurized water reactors. In India only Jharkhand has uranium mine, and it has contributed to both of the development of nuclear weapon and nuclear power plants. The position of the central part of Jadugoda is east longitude 86-degree 20 minutes, and north latitude 22-degree 40 minutes. The distance from the Tatanagar station to Jadugoda is 24 km in a straight line. The area around mines is mountainous land where the aborigines have lived. Aborigines were deprived of their own land because uranium is discovered their land and they were polluted with radioactivity. They had to have a distress history for it. Uranium was discovered in many aborigines ‘lands like in the U.S.A. and Australia.

The population of Jharkhand is about 100 million and 1 million people live in its capital, Ranchi. There is West Bengal State on the east side and Orissa State is located on the south. Jharkhand state has the long slender area called "East Singhbhum" which lies between West Bengal and Orissa.

Tatanagar and three uranium mines, Narwapahar, Bhatin and Jadugoda, are located in this area. These uranium mines are managed by UCIL (Uranium Corporation of India Limited), the government enterprise of India. The distance from Narwapahar to Jadugoda is only 10km. In Jadugoda, uranium ore from these three mines has been processed in a smelter. In addition, mill-tailings have been thrown away into tailing ponds. The uranium got as a product is packed in the drum can and transported from the Rakha-mine railway station.

Though India has the rich thorium resources, it does not have the uranium almost. The grade of the uranium ore dug in these uranium mines is remarkably low. The average grade is about 0.06%. Ability of the smelter in Jadugoda is the ores of 1000 tons per day. And the amount of uranium is only 600 kg per day, namely 200 ton per year. In the meantime, mill-tailings after uranium was removed reaches 300,000 ton per year. It has been thrown into tailing ponds by pipeline in liquid form. Besides, the mine-tailings also occur, and the quantity reaches 10 times of the mill-tailings.

Statement of Problems

But as the prosperity of this area keeps on growing the number of population because of radiation of uranium is also getting affected. Large population is facing problems like mental disorder, crippling, cancer etc. altogether the prosperity on the other sense is creating havoc for the society.

Study Area

East longitude 86 degree 20 minutes and north latitude 22-degree 40 minutes. Its 24 km straight from Tatanagar in the east in Jharkhand, India( As Shown in Figure 1). Figure 2 shows the satellite imagery of Jadugoda.

Figure 1: Study Area

Figure 2: Satellite Image of Jadugoda and Surounding

Work Flow



Satellite Image of Area

Locating Points on Map/ Image

Feeding Data and Location

Generation of Points Map of Location

Generation of Line Map of Location



Effected Area Identified

Figure 3: Work Flow


The entire process of study is done by the data available from various sources . The basic process that leads to the development of the project started with the geo referencing of the Toposheet 73 J/6 (scale:-1:50000) (Figure 5). The projection in this regard is UTM 1983 and zone 45. The Toposheet gave the areas related to the location of our study area. By Georeferencing the accurate latitude and longitude of the specified area are obtained. The next step in this regard continued with locating the exact position of the required location. This deals with the proper lat long of the specified place. The satellite image of the location has been obtained from the Google earth (Figure 2 & Figure 4).The specified area are then matched with the proper lat long so as to obtain the correct locating points. The required images are being pointed on the required image and as a result a separate attribute table is being generated both for the point map as well as the line map.

The corresponding data’s are being assigned to the required table. Two separated maps are being generated. One declaring the various locations such as Bhatin, Mechua etc and one line map is being put up for the generation of the two of the tailing ponds. The two generated maps are being overlaid to obtain one map declaring all the specified area. The final step into this regards is the buffering of the specified areas. A buffer of 5 kilometers is being created. This shows that the area within 5 km of this range is highly affected due to radiation. And the residence should be beyond this area so that people will get the least affect of it. As a result, Figure 6 shows the attributes of affected location, Figure 7 shows the Attributes of tailing ponds and Figure 8 shows the different location of affected areas.

Steps Involving the Following Process:

Figure 4: Satellite image of Study area

Figure 5: Georeferenced image of study area

Figure 6: Attributes of effected location

Figure 7: Attributes of tailing ponds

Figure 8: Different location of affected areas

Software used: ERDAS, ARC GIS.


As per the case study, a large area in and around Jadugoda is affected due to radiations. Affected areas are shown in Figure 9. There are various sources of radiations and the radiation level into many areas exceeds the standard level. Only three villages are seriously contaminated and rest are below the contamination level and the main reason for them is that they stand just beyond the tailing pond. (Chatikocha, Dungridih 1,2). Product of uranium is dealt carelessly as a result of which railway station (Rakha mines) has affected due to high level of radiations. On the behalf of UCIL various steps are been taken to reduce the effects but they were proved inefficient. As a result the UCIL has fenced the tailing pond.

Figure9: Affected areas due to radiation


A map is being created that shows the total area affected due to the radiation. And suggestions are made to rehabilitate the population out of it to a safe place, which is out of reach of the radiations and the population should not be into the radius of 5 kilometer from this area.


1) http://www.mapsofindia.com/
2) Scott Ludlam, Nuclear India, A Report on the No Nukes Asia Forum 1999 (March, 2000)
3) KRITIKA,”Buddha weeps in Jadugoda”(2000)
4) Greenpeace, “Jadugoda research”, The Paper for Trial See also following URL. http://www-j.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/ NSRG/genpatu/india.htm