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Senator Wants Probe Into Safety of San Onofre Plant Following That 'Tiny' Leak

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Add Senator Barbara Boxer to the list of Californians that are concerned about the safety of San Onofre Nuclear generating station.

Boxer has sent an open letter to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) asking for a probe into the safety of the plant in light of the recent leak and report that a worker fell into a pool of water laced with radiation. Southern California Edison has said the leak was so "tiny," it didn't even register on local sensors near the plant. An NRC spokesman at the time of the leak said that the amount of radiation released wasn't greater than typical background radiation. As for the worker—Southern California Edison said he was back at work after a medical exam.

But this incident raised concerns for Boxer about San Onofre and other nuclear plants. She said that she is concerned about reports that some of the tubes carrying radioactive water are degrading. She asked that the NRC conduct a comprehensive safety report at San Onofre and other plants where it is necessary, "I ask the NRC to thoroughly assess the conditions at the San Onofre plant to determine what further investigation and action is required at this time, and whether similar actions may be needed at other nuclear facilities."

The leak at San Onofre also has residents in San Clemente on edge, and some residents have been lobbying the city council to install sensors around town that would independently measure radiation levels.