Lignite burning is one of the sources of technologically enhanced exposure to humans from natural radionuclides. In the preliminary study, part of the survey, the activity concentrations of (226)Ra, (232)Th and (40)K in 112 samples of feed lignites from seven lignite-fired power plants in Western Anatolia (Seyitomer, Tuncbilek, Orhaneli, Soma, Yatagan, Yenikoy and Kemerkoy) were, therefore, determined by scintillation gamma spectrometry. The ranges of the relevant radionuclides in the lignite samples are as follows: (226)Ra, 23-291 Bq kg(-1); (232)Th, 12-68 Bq kg(-1); and (40)K, 67-284 Bq kg(-1). Taking the coefficient of variation (CV) as a measure of the variability, the CV is also calculated for the natural radionuclides in the feed lignites. Furthermore, the dose rates in the coal-handling areas due to external gamma radiation are found to be within the range specified by UNSCEAR (2000) report.