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Corrosion on nuclear reactors: “These microcracks could cause the rupture of this circuit”, warns an expert



Microcracks in nuclear reactors “could cause this circuit to break just when it is needed”, explained this Friday on franceinfo Yves Marignac, head of the nuclear expertise center at the négaWatt institute, member of the permanent group of experts on nuclear reactors of the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN), while EDF has extended the shutdown of five nuclear reactors, where corrosion problems have been identified (in some cases until the end of 2022). EDF has launched an inspection of all the reactors in its fleet.

franceinfo: Should we be worried about these corrosions?

Yves Marignac: Yes, you have to be worried. These corrosions relate to microcracks appearing in the bends of a circuit which is essential for the emergency cooling of the reactors, if a reactor were to be in an accident situation. These micro cracks could cause this circuit to break just when it is needed. This means that some reactors could be affected by this very serious failure.

Was this problem foreseeable?

The phenomenon of stress corrosion, which corresponds to the appearance of microcracks within the steel under specific conditions, is a known and feared phenomenon in nuclear installations. He is under surveillance. But here the problem is that it was not anticipated that such corrosion could appear so soon. So, there is a whole questioning and that is why the situation is dramatic, since we have seen this phenomenon appear. But we don’t have very clear explanations on the reasons and the conditions of this appearance. Therefore, we cannot exclude that this same phenomenon does not exist on other reactors.

How long does it take to check all the reactors?

Yes and no. There is a first verification which will be long but which EDF is in the process of doing. It is a reading of the last checks. They are done every 10 years when the reactors are shut down and thoroughly inspected. So, we can see if there are things that we would not have seen or misinterpreted at the time and which would be clues to the appearance of these faults. But what is necessary is to go and inspect these reactors live, but to do so they have to be shut down. It’s complicated from the point of view of electrical safety, especially now where the electrical system is under high voltage.

Can we run out of electricity?

For years now, we have been warning of a growing dependence on our electricity system, on an aging nuclear fleet and therefore more and more likely to encounter this type of problem. We are in a situation where there is a practically impossible trade-off between precaution from a safety point of view and electrical safety. Closing more reactors would fuel the risk of supply shortages. We therefore have an impossible trade-off which will probably result in the fact of delaying safety in order to maintain electrical safety at all costs.



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“We Europeans”. Contraception: the men’s turn



Major reportage, guests and European news are featured in the magazine We Europeans” (Twitter), presented by Eléonore Gay and broadcast on Sundays at 10:40 a.m. on France 3, as well as late Thursday evenings on France 2. For this new issue of season 3, head to Netherlands, where 20,000 men choose to be sterilized every year using vasectomy, a technique that involves cutting and blocking the vas deferens that carry sperm from the testicles.

As a general rule, within couples, contraception is the affair of the women. They are the ones who choose the contraceptive methods that are best suited to them, but they must bear the mental and often financial burden of this responsibility as well as the possible effects on their bodies. Today, more and more men do not find this normal…

scholarships or life

> THE GREAT REPORT
In the Netherlands, 11% of couples choose to use male sterilization using the vasectomy technique. This is the highest rate in the European Union, but the criteria are strict: patients must be over thirty and no longer want children. At the hospital in Doetinchem, in the east of the country, around 30 vasectomies are performed each month. An operation that is performed on an outpatient basis, under local anesthesia…
A report by Prune Antoine and Sébastien Maillard.

> THE GUESTS

Guillaume Daudin, co-author, with Stéphane Jourdain and Caroline Lee, of the graphic novel Contracepts. Investigation of the last taboo (ed. Steinkis).

Erwan Tavern, from the association Garcon (Contraception Research and Action Group).

Pierre Collin, a pioneer in male contraception.

Marylie Breuil, from the feminist association We All.

> Replays of France Télévisions news magazines are available on the Franceinfo website and its mobile application (iOS & Android), “Magazines” section.

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Suspension of the prefectural decree imposing the wearing of a mask outdoors in Loire-Atlantique


After Paris and the Yvelines, the decree making the wearing of a mask compulsory outdoors in Loire-Atlantique, was suspended on Friday by the courts.

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The administrative court of Nantes suspended Friday January 14 in the morning, the prefectural decree on the wearing of the compulsory mask outdoors, in the 207 municipalities of the department of Loire-Atlantique. This decision comes the day after that of the Paris administrative court, which had suspended a similar decree.

The interim judge of the Nantes administrative court, seized urgently on Wednesday with an additional Thursday, considers that the measure of the generalized wearing of the mask “infringed the individual freedom of persons” in a way “disproportionate and inappropriate”.

He judges in his decision that the obligation to wear a mask can only be imposed if it is “limited to places and times of high population traffic” and to “appropriate hours”.

“The prefect has taken note of the interim order of the administrative court”, specifies the prefecture of Loire-Atlantique, which adds that “a new order is being prepared”. It must be published by Friday evening.

This is the third department in which the wearing of a compulsory mask has been suspended by the administrative court, after Paris on Wednesday and Yvelines on Tuesday.



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Covid-19: unions call for strike in schools


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Faced with the difficulties faced by schools due to many changes in protocols linked to the pandemic, many teachers and school leaders have taken to the streets to protest and call for the safety of children.

Closed gates, empty playgrounds, silent classrooms. Faced with the strong mobilization, some municipalities have set up a minimum childcare service. The strike call was widely followed. In the street, according to the Ministry of the Interior, more than 77,000 people demonstrated against the management of the health crisis at school.

“I believe that now we are in danger when we come to work at school”, explains a teacher in the procession. “Sometimes there are classes with five children, the next day there are fifteen”, says another. A dozen unions called a strike to protest. A rare cohesion, a sign of widespread fed up.

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Meeting between Jean-Michel Blanquer and the teacher unions: “Commitments have been made and we will judge in the coming days”, reacts the SNES-FSU



“Commitments have been made and we will judge in the coming days”, declared Thursday, January 13 on franceinfo Sophie Vénétitay, general secretary of the SNES-FSU (National Union of Secondary School Teachers) union, after the day of strike at theEnational education and the meeting between Jean Castex and the unions. “Even if the meeting lasted a long time, it is not in three hours that we restore the confidence thus damaged. There are some signals but we will need more”, she added.

franceinfo: Are you satisfied with this meeting?

Sophie Venetitay: We felt the concern to explain a certain number of things to us. Olivier Véran took the time to justify from a health and medical point of view certain decisions that had been taken in recent weeks. , a desire to explain a certain number of things, to go into detail, to take the time to explain. Some commitments have been made on the method which has been decried since it consisted in communicating decisions at the last moment, not always consulting us. Commitments have been made and we will judge in the coming days.

The minister mentioned bi-monthly meetings with the unions, FFP2 masks, CO2 sensors and also the recruitment of 3,300 contract workers and supervisors. What do you think ?

The announcement of the recruitment of supervisors is a good thing since we know that school lives have been particularly stressed in the last few days. It was the supervisors in the colleges and high schools who were responsible for managing absent students and contact tracing. For the contractors, the question will be whether they will want to come. On fairly concrete elements such as masks it is true that there are openings but it is certainly to be credited to the strong mobilization of the day which forced the government to receive us this evening.

Relaxations of certain exams have been mentioned, as well as a possible postponement of certain baccalaureate exams. Is this a good thing?

It is a very strong request to postpone these baccalaureate tests from March to June. We can clearly see that our classes are emptying according to the results of positive tests and contact cases. At the moment we teach parts of the class and not whole classes. This does not allow for good progress in learning. So this is one of our very strong demands. The minister sketched an opening by saying that we were going to discuss to see if it was possible to postpone these tests. So there too it’s a commitment, a sign of openness, but it has to materialize and the decision has to be taken quickly.

Has a climate of trust been restored?

Restored is a big word because we are coming out of a 20-month period of health crisis where confidence was badly damaged by orders and counter-orders. Even if the meeting lasted a long time, it is not in three hours that one restores a confidence thus damaged. There are some signals but we need more. The commitments made this evening will have to be kept because we have been used to big discussions without a future. The discussions that have been announced will have to take place and above all there will have to be real changes in communication. In short, it will be necessary to show that the teachers are not despised by this ministry and on that everything remains to be done.



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Teachers’ strike: unions received urgently by Jean Castex


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Faced with the massive mobilization of teachers, Thursday, January 13, Jean Castex agreed to meet the unions in the evening, at the Ministry of National Education.

The Prime Minister, Jean Castex, agreed to receive the teachers’ unions on the evening of Thursday January 13, after the strong mobilization against the new health protocol put in place in schools. Guillaume Daret, French journalist Televisions is duplex of the Ministry of National Education, in Paris. For him, it seems that Matignon has got his hands on this sensitive subject.

Even if, behind the scenes, Matignon underlines that it is happening at the Ministry of National Education and it is indeed Jean-Michel Blanquer who will speak at the end of the meeting. A way not to give the feeling of disavowing it completely”, explains the journalist. Basically, what can move? The government has a red line: there is no question of closing a class from a single case. For him, it would actually close the schools”, adds William Daret.

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Securing places of worship: Gérald Darmanin announces an envelope of four million euros


The minister of the Interior went to Thursday morning in two churches in Seine-Saint-Denis which were the target of acts of vandalism during the night from Sunday to Monday.

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Every year, places of worship are desecrated in France. The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, announced, Thursday, January 13, an envelope of four million euros to secure them, and in particular to finance means of video protection. “As minister of worship, my job is to protect them. So we are increasing the means which allow us to equip places of worship in particular with video protection.”, said Gérald Darmanin in front of the Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois church in Romainville (Seine-Saint-Denis), target “break-ins”, of “flights” and a “certain number of inconveniences” in the night from Sunday to Monday.

A church in Bondy (Seine-Saint-Denis) was also targeted. Two investigations have been opened to find the perpetrators, the minister said on Wednesday. “Today, it is an envelope of four million euros which is given, and in particular to the Catholic Church if it wishes it and independently of the law of separation of the Church and the State”, he added. This envelope is financed by the general secretariat of the Interministerial Committee for the Prevention of Crime and Radicalization.

Between January and October 2021, some 1 380 Anti-religious acts (insults, vandalism, desecration) were recorded in France, down 17% compared to the previous year, according to the Interior Ministry. Among them, 686 anti-Christian acts, against 921 in 2019, a decrease of 25%. Regarding anti-Semitic acts, the Ministry of the Interior recorded a decrease of 15%, 523 in 2021 against 617 in 2019. Anti-Muslim acts are up 32% (171 against 129 in 2019).



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Obligation to wear a bicycle helmet: “This will discourage a lot of our fellow citizens”, fears the Federation of bicycle users


A proposal on the obligation to wear a bicycle helmet is discussed Thursday in the Senate. The text, which provides uno fine of 135 euros, already debated.

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Should helmets be made compulsory for cyclists? The question is revived by the bill of a group of elected centrists which will be studied Thursday, January 13 in the Senate. She suggests imposing a helmet on all bicycle users, whether electric or not, on pain of a fine of 135 euros when only a third of cyclists wear a helmet.

Ilias is not one of them. He is about to get on a self-service bicycle in Paris with headphones to listen to music while pedaling. “It is much more dangerous, I take it entirely “, concedes the cyclist. “But I don’t think it is by threatening to get a fine that I will necessarily wear a helmet”, he adds.

François Bonneau is the centrist senator, who carries this proposal. “We can consider that it is a constraint, but we can also consider that it is a gesture which can save you”, he argues. “Why is everyone wearing a helmet on the Tour de France?, he says. Do not think that it only happens to others! “

However, the Federation of bicycle users is much more reserved. “Wearing a helmet can reduce certain injuries and head trauma, but we are against the obligation of the helmet”, says Olivier Schneider, its president. “To suggest that cycling is dangerous is to discourage a whole bunch of our fellow citizens from doing it. “

“In the Netherlands, a country which has made a successful transition to cycling, barely 2% of people wear helmets and yet there are far fewer accidents than here.”

Olivier Schneider, president of the Federation of bicycle users

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To reduce accidents, the president of the FUB calls first to “reduce car traffic, build cycle lanes “, rather than penalizing cyclists who do not wear helmets. The compulsory bicycle helmet had already been rejected by the National Assembly in 2019.



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United States: Cyber ​​attack paralyzes American prison and forces authorities to confine inmates in their cells


For now, no details have been released as to the identity of the hackers or the nature of their requests.

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A ransomware attack with serious consequences. The incident brought the prison in Bernalillo County, New Mexico (United States) to a standstill, rendering surveillance cameras inoperative and forcing authorities to confine inmates to their cells, according to official documents. This attack, which occurred during the first week of January, is the work of computer hackers who managed to break into the system that controls the prison’s servers and internet access.

Asked by AFP, the local authorities had not reacted on Wednesday January 12 in the afternoon. For now, no details have been released as to the identity of the hackers or the nature of their requests.

“The lack of video surveillance raises real concerns for the safety of staff and detainees” when the latter are out of their cells, can we read in a document sent to a local court on January 6? As a result, “the detainees are temporarily confined to their cells” and deprived of activities, the only exception mentioned relating to possible medical care.

The attack even briefly disabled the automatic doors of the penitentiary, forcing staff to open and lock each gate manually when prisoners went to the shower or for a walk.

The ransomware attack not only targeted the jail but many other utilities in New Mexico’s most populous Bernalillo County, in the Albuquerque area. In a press release dated January 10, the county explained to its citizens that it was still affected by “computer problems” resulting from this attack, preventing for example the delivery of marriage certificates, registration on electoral rolls or registration of real estate transactions.



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Delivery man with a crashed dead bike in Lille: the driver of a heavy goods vehicle in police custody for “manslaughter”


A 16-year-old Deliveroo bicycle delivery man died Tuesday evening in Lille after an accident with a truck.

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The driver of a heavy truck was taken into custody for “manslaughter” Wednesday January 12, after the death of a 16-year-old Deliveroo bicycle delivery man, in a road accident Tuesday evening in Lille, France indicates North Blue.

Tuesday evening, at a traffic light in the rue de Saint-Amand, the 57-year-old driver restarted his vehicle when the light turned green and felt shaking, he explained to investigators. He got out of his cab and saw a man lying on the ground behind his truck. Passers-by called for help but they were unable to revive the cyclist.

The Deliveroo company confirms that the victim had a bag of his brand on his back and indicates that he was in contact with the police. The teenager, a minor, was under the legal age to officially work in this company.