Are the fuel rods melted or not??

The reactor cores have been almost dry for many days. The fuel rods protrude meters high from the remaining cooling water. At least. And wasn’t it always said: if a core becomes dry, it completely melts in less than an hour? Nobody can see inside the reactors at the moment, even most of the measuring instruments have failed.

Despite the cooling of the reactors, no all-clear

A helicopter must have flown over the power plant at noon today and measured the temperature on the surface of the reactor vessels: less than 100 degrees, the Japanese defense minister cheered on television. The temperature is also falling in blocks 5 and 6, which were out of order at the time of the accident. That’s good news. Nevertheless, the Society for Plant and Reactor Safety says that the Fuel rods are “damaged”. One can imagine that parts of the material, the fuel rods, control rods and the container box are fused together. At around 1200 degrees, uranium becomes liquid. No matter how much that is, apparently none of it has melted down. And this, even though no so-called core catchers have apparently been installed in Fukushima, tanks that are supposed to prevent the melting material from getting into the groundwater

Successful cooling?

The attempts, which seem more or less helpless to cool the reactors from the outside, seem to have had some success. At this point in time, it looks like the situation could turn out like a larger version of the Three Mile Island case. In 1979 there was also a partial meltdown in this power plant in the USA, which could be stopped. (That was also a serious accident, see the previous blog entry from me.) Over time, the decay heat also decreases clearly. So there is hope that things don’t have to get worse. However, none of this reverses what has already happened. And that’s bad enough. And the radioactive material that has become free remains with us for a very long time. What is left there will be a problem for a very long time.

There is a threat of drug shortages due to the coronavirus?

Many drugs that are sold in Germany come from China. Dealers are reporting possible delivery bottlenecks – as transport routes are interrupted due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In China, public life has come to a virtual standstill in many cities. Streets are empty, offices orphaned, factories stand still. This could also have implications for healthcare in many other countries. Because a large part of all active medical ingredients used worldwide now come from China.

According to experts, almost the entire global supply of some vital medicines depends on Chinese manufacturers – for example, antibiotics. The raw material for these products is now almost exclusively produced there and then partly processed in other countries – especially in India. After all, they end up in clinics and pharmacies around the world.

Decision in brussels: the list from athens is there

Now it has really arrived in Brussels: the list from Athens with which the Greek government explains the reforms with which it wants to satisfy the donors and keep its election promises. This was announced by the EU Commission.

When is it finally coming? The spokeswoman for the EU Commission, Mina Andreeva, had to listen to this question countless times yesterday and kept giving the same answer: "We haven’t received a list yet!" It should actually have been there yesterday, a list of plans and ideas for how the Greek government will meet the donors’ obligations – the prerequisite for extending the aid program for Greece and completing it successfully: "You have until midnight."

But even until midnight there was nothing in Brussels. It didn’t arrive until early in the morning, the list that was supposed to save Greece from bankruptcy. It is intended for the finance ministers of the euro zone. Until recently, the formulations were apparently worked on, in Athens and Brussels. Something leaked through: Athens wanted to stick to some social measures that were promised in the election campaign and cost a lot of money: for example, special grants for poorer pensioners. The minimum wage is to be increased.

Decision of the bundestag: measles vaccination becomes mandatory

There was long and intense discussion, now the Bundestag has decided that measles vaccination is mandatory. It applies to day-care centers, schools and refugee shelters, among others. Refusals face fines of up to 2500 euros.

Children and staff in day-care centers and schools must in future be vaccinated against measles. The Bundestag has passed a law that provides for the exclusion of day-care centers and fines in the event of violation. The compulsory vaccination should also apply to child minders and residents and employees of refugee shelters and health facilities.

"Measles protection is child protection," said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) in the Bundestag. He defended the compulsory vaccination against the criticism of large sections of the opposition. The Union, SPD and FDP had voted for the law in second reading. The AfD voted against, the Greens and the Left abstained. In the roll-call final vote, 459 MPs voted for the law, 89 against, 105 abstained.

Lax regulations are to blame for ice problems?

The special inspection of the ICE-T will be completed in February, promises the railway. However, the question of blame for the axle problems remains unresolved. Is it the material or the road surface? Or are the valid standards outdated, as railway expert Loffler assumes to ?

First an ICE-3 derailed in Cologne Central Station. One axis was broken – how this could come about is being investigated by the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing on behalf of the Cologne Public Prosecutor’s Office. Then a hairline crack was discovered in the axis of an ICE-T. The railway withdrew all trains of this series, which was specially designed for winding routes with its tilting technology, for a special inspection. In the meantime, a hairline crack has been found in another train of this type.

The railway speaks of material defects and thus blames the manufacturers of the ICE. The company reserves the right to claim damages. They reject the allegations and warn that a factual discussion should be returned to.

Latvians clear accounts at swedbank

For fear of the Swedish Swedbank going bust, customers in Latvia have massively cleared their accounts. This was preceded by rumors spread across the Internet that the bank had liquidity problems. There is particular nervousness in Latvia about the closure of the Krajbanka two weeks ago.

Yesterday evening there was no more cash at around a third of Swedbank ATMs in Latvia, and customers had withdrawn the equivalent of around 15 million euros on Sunday. At the end of the week, rumors had spread on Facebook and Twitter that there was no more money at the Swedbank ATMs in Sweden and that the Latvian head of Swedbank, Maris Mancinskis, had been arrested. In the meantime, he assured the Latvian television station LNT TV that the rumors were "not only false, but absurd".

Swedbank spokesman Thomas Backteman also vigorously denied: "This is all completely out of thin air. Incidentally, it is a criminal offense in Latvia to spread such rumors. We are working closely with the authorities there and colleagues from other banks because we want to know who is behind it and how we can stop it. "

Are foreigners treated more leniently in court?

Contrary to all charges of alleged "cuddle justice", German courts do not treat foreign criminals more leniently than others. Experts say: the opposite is the case.

If the AfD comments on the jurisprudence of German courts, there is often talk of "lax penalties" and "cuddle justice". Also who supposedly particularly benefits from it is suggested.

For example, the co-chair of the AfD parliamentary group, Alice Weidel, claimed in an interview that "brutalized migrant groups" could bet that "there will be no consequences as far as possible" for crimes. The AfD Saxony even writes of a "foreigner bonus", which is often practiced "in so-called jurisdiction", and according to a press release from the AfD parliamentary group in Baden-Wurttemberg, it is mainly "those who have immigrated" who are often only would be punished symbolically.

Debt crisis: hollande does not make any commitments to samaras either

Greek Prime Minister Samaras continued his European tour in Paris. But as in Berlin, there were no positive surprises for him here either: President Hollande acknowledged the future of the Greek euro, but he did not want to make any commitments before the Troika report.

French President Francois Hollande wants Greece to remain in the euro zone: "The question of whether Greece will leave the common currency or not does not arise for me. Greece is one of them."

The Greek people have already made great efforts and sacrifices. Europe must therefore continue to help Greece. The prerequisite, however, is that the Greeks stick to their austerity course: "The country has to prove that it is credible. The politicians have to show that they can implement the reforms to the end – but at the same time they have to be tolerable for the Greek people."

Are the stimulus packages i and ii sufficient??

The Chancellor was scolded as "Madame No" – but the coalition’s economic stimulus measures can also be seen in international comparison – but there is still room to refuel. And in view of the extent of the economic crisis, it will probably also be necessary to saddle up. An analysis.

Angela Merkel (CDU) has been called "Madame No" because last autumn she persistently refused extensive economic stimulus programs. The Chancellor no longer wears the disgraceful name. Why also? Finally, the federal government has launched two economic stimulus programs, which not only in the opinion of the Federal Minister of Finance "can be seen". In fact, at 3.5 percent of German gross economic output over two years, they are larger than the programs in France and Great Britain. According to a current study by the International Monetary Fund, only China and Saudi Arabia outperform the Federal Republic in terms of spending to stimulate the economy and stabilize the economy.

Economic stimulus packages are impressive

In the meantime, public opinion has got Merkel, Steinbruck and Co. to add some shovel – but also to group various government measures under the umbrella term "stimulus package" in order to "make mass": That was a bit of a misnomer with a rather incoherent collection of instruments. However, each of them does not have to be bad – even if it may also be about "buying votes", as the opposition criticizes.

Armament and peace demonstrations

"The United States is ready to stop the development of Pershing II and ground-based missiles when the Soviets dismantle their SS-20, SS-4, and SS-5 missiles," announced US President Ronald Reagan on Jan. November. This so-called "zero option" is primarily a concession to the Europeans. At the same time he is reacting to peace offers from Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev.

The US government believes it is forced to act, as research institutes have calculated that the West is inferior in the field of nuclear weapons. Defense Minister Casper Weinberger even calls for the neutron bomb to be stationed in Europe. He and Foreign Minister Alexander Haig agree that only a balanced threat can keep the peace.

Foreign ministers meeting in Geneva

On the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the end of September, the Federal Government insists on a US-Soviet Foreign Ministers meeting. Haig and his Soviet counterpart Andrei Gromyko agree to negotiate on the restriction of medium-range missiles in Europe. Nothing of the negotiations in Geneva leaked to the public: the negotiators imposed a news blackout. But the US delegation speaks of serious problems that separate the partners. Chancellor Helmut Schmidt ties his political fate to the success of the negotiations.