I read the following example from DWDS:
der Minister informierte sich persönlich über den Verlauf der Rettungsarbeiten.
I am wondering whether Rettungsarbeiten can be replaced with Rettungsaktion in thus case?
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No, it should not be replaced.
According to the recent discussion about the differences in meaning, the phrase über die Rettungsaktion would imply that the minister only wanted to know briefly how the whole thing is going, but that he would not be interested in any details. No press statement would want to give an expression like this, thereby making the minister uninterested.
Furthermore, calling the whole th8ng Rettungsaktion implies that the whole thing is quite simple (like getting a cat down from a tree), and simple things don't need a minister to come and watch.