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In this work, we analyze the origins of the observed differences between the radiation sensitivities of fluorine-doped optical fibers made with different fabrication processes. We used several experimental techniques, coupling in situ radiation-induced absorption measurements with post mortem confocal microscopy luminescence measurements. Our data showed that the silica intrinsic defects are generated both from precursor sites and from strained regular Si-O-Si linkages. Our work also provides evidence for the preponderant role of the chlorine in determining the optical losses at about 3.5 eV. The results show that the manufacturing process of these fibers strongly affects their radiation response.