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If the heater core is leaking then you'll certainly get a coolant smell in the cabin of the car. Are they sure that they've actually seen the heater core leaking? I just ask because as someone else also pointed out, after changing a radiator and flushing the system it's common to get some entrapped air. It can take a bit of work to get it out and in the meantime there's certainly a chance the radiator will overflow a little. I know, I just flushed the radiator on my wife's SUV and had a heck of a time getting the system back to normal afterwards just because of entrapped air, and I did have some overflow. This also could cause a coolant smell, but certainly not as strong as a leaking heater core.

If it is indeed the heater core, then it's HIGHLY unlikely that it's related to the radiator replacement. Although both are a part of the same system the heater core is going to be back towards the firewall while the radiator is way up at the front of the engine bay. So it's not like the mechanic could just drop a tool and damage the heater core. Maybe you're just noticing it now if you've just turned the heat on.
 
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