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OC Residents Want Independent Radiation Monitors After 'Tiny' Leak at San Onofre Nuclear Reactor

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Neighbors of San Onofre's nuclear plant in San Clemente are demanding that their city install radiation monitors around town that are available to the public.

The residents are on edge after a "tiny" leak was reported at the nuclear plant last month that prompted Southern California Edison to shut down the reactors. Edison monitors radiation levels, but residents want their own independent monitors that provide information to the public, according to the Orange County Register.

"Edison may know what the radiation levels are, but they've told me that they won't share those with the public," San Clemente resident Donna Gilmore told the San Clemente City Council. "I could go to the library and look at last year's figures. Well, that's not going to do me any good. It might reduce our stress a little too if we knew exactly what was going on."

Edison spokesman Gil Alexander didn't comment on the community's request for independent sensors but he said the leak was so tiny, it didn't even register on the company's sensors: "I can understand that people would like to hear numbers. We can assure the public that there was so little change in the radiation sensors near the leak that it was barely measurable at all, and there was no change in the sensor readings elsewhere on the property, which means it was minor and it was localized."

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A local environmental group called San Clemente Green said they're pushing for a study that examines how living near a nuclear plant might affect residents' cancer risks, in addition to the independent radiation monitors. Other residents at the meeting called for the nuclear plant to be decommissioned.