Officials: Radiation 'could have' escaped plant

MICHAEL R. BLOOD Associated Press Published:

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A tiny amount of radiation could have escaped into the atmosphere from a Southern California nuclear power plant after a water leak prompted operators to shut down the reactor as a precaution, officials said Wednesday.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks said a small amount of radioactive gas "could have" escaped the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station on the northern San Diego County coast.

Southern California Edison spokesman Gil Alexander told The Associated Press the amount would have been "extremely small" and possibly not detectable by monitors.

The company and federal regulators say the release would not have posed a safety risk for the public.

"It would have been very, very small, low level, which would not pose a danger to anyone," Dricks said.