U.S. test nuclear reactor may run 40 percent over cost: government document

Reuters | April 05, 2019

The flagship of the Trump administration’s advanced nuclear power research program could cost about 40 percent more than a government official estimated earlier this year, a U.S. Department of Energy document shows. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has tried to breathe life into the country’s nuclear power industry, which is suffering in the face of competition from plants burning cheap natural gas as well as falling costs for wind and solar power. Perry announced the versatile test reactor, or VTR, in late February, saying it was a “key step to implementing President (Donald) Trump’s direction to revitalize and expand the U.S. nuclear industry,” and critical for national security. The VTR would let U.S. companies conduct advanced technology and fuels tests without having to go to competitors in Russia and China, Perry said. Meant to be built by late 2025, it would be the first new nuclear test reactor built by the Energy Department, or DOE, in many decades.

Spotlight

Vice President Mike Pence visited Eastern Kentucky with Gov. Matt Bevin to introduce Operation Coal Country and the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program, which provides medical care to rural and underprivileged communities.

Spotlight

Vice President Mike Pence visited Eastern Kentucky with Gov. Matt Bevin to introduce Operation Coal Country and the Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) program, which provides medical care to rural and underprivileged communities.

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Accela Announces Fall 2020 Product Release Which Includes the Launch of its Civic Platform V20.2

Accela | November 02, 2020

Accela, the leading provider of cloud-based solutions for government, today announced its Fall 2020 Product Release, which includes the launch of its Civic Platform V20.2 and updates to Accela Citizen Access, GIS, and Accela Mobile. The release also introduces Accela Insights, a new data visualization tool that enables agency staff to create modern and interactive dashboards seamlessly, the Premium Citizen Experience powered by OpenCities, new Civic Applications for Service Request Management and Occupational Licensing, and more. These updates are focused on creating modern, intuitive user experiences for government and expand on Accela's suite of robust cloud solutions designed to help agencies respond to evolving citizen and business needs during times of crisis and beyond.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

The General Services Administration Releases Draft of New Government IT Services

GSA | January 05, 2021

The General Services Administration delivered the draft framework for its new governmentwide small business IT services contract, named Polaris, including a rundown of administration contributions covered under the contract and arising advances sellers ought to be set up to pitch as a feature of assignment request competitions. The Polaris governmentwide acquisition contract, or GWAC, is set to supplant the disastrous Alliant 2 Small Business contract, which GSA suddenly dropped in July. After influxes of fights, revoked grants and re-grants prompted the Alliant 2 SB cancelation, GSA vowed to make up for the shortcoming with another small business-zeroed in contract and started work on Polaris, delivering the draft demand for proposition on New Year's Eve. “The principal nature of any resulting task order procurement must be for IT services,” the document states, “however, ancillary support may be included when it is integral to and necessary for the IT services-based effort.” In tending to one of the issues identified with Alliant 2 SB, the Polaris contract will zero in on three financial gatherings, isolating into their own pools: small businesses, ladies possessed small businesses and those situated within a generally under-used region, otherwise called HUBZones. The draft record notes GSA claims all authority to make and grant spots on new pools as a component of future open seasons. Alongside the emphasis on financial set-asides, the Polaris GWAC separates itself from other GSA contracts through its contributions: IT services like cloud, information the board and programming advancement, as opposed to commodities like IT equipment or off-the-rack programming items. The draft RFP incorporates seven classifications of services to be offered on the contract, including cloud services, cybersecurity, information the executives, data and correspondence advances, IT activities and support, programming improvement and framework plan. The contract likewise takes into consideration some auxiliary acquisition of administrative help, information section and IT items, among others, however these should be in direct help of a bigger assistance offering. About GSA The General Services Administration (GSA) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1949 to help manage and support the basic functioning of federal agencies. GSA supplies products and communications for U.S. government offices, provides transportation and office space to federal employees, and develops government-wide cost-minimizing policies, among other management tasks.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Planet Builds Business in State and Local Government Sector

Planet | November 24, 2021

Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced a number of new contracts with state and local governments, including entities in the states of Alaska and Mississippi. Operating about 200 earth imaging satellites, Planet provides near-daily images of every terrestrial location on earth, enabling their customers to track environmental change, support regional enforcement efforts, and make informed decisions. Through their 7-month pilot program, Planet and the State of Alaska explored solutions for department managers that have historically been challenged by Alaska’s unique geography, marked by severe winter storms and remote landscapes. Notably, 82% of Alaskan communities are inaccessible by roads, and it is time consuming and costly to get boots on the ground for evaluations. Previously, employees would take small aircrafts to monitor approximately 50 weather stations across 90 million acres of land to determine when a station became snow-free. With daily PlanetScope images, their team was able to look back at satellite imagery day-by-day to determine the exact moment the station became snow-free, saving substantial time, costs, and energy, and increased the accuracy of the data collected. By decreasing the number of aircraft trips needed to these remote regions, Planet’s data also significantly increased employee safety. Using Planet’s SkySats, the State of Alaska was also able to support inspectors for mining operations. With more frequent visibility, managers tracked mining activity on a month-to-month basis to plan inspections and support regulatory enforcement. They further utilized PlanetScope and SkySat data to provide environmental situational awareness for wildfires and reveal final fire perimeters. Additionally, the state leveraged Planet imagery of forestland to determine enforcement policies prior to on-site evaluations. Using Planet’s datasets under a multi-department license, the State of Alaska ensures this data is shared through the State’s Imagery portal so that the imagery data can be used by various agencies. For example, the satellite data collected for mining inspection analysis by the Department of Mining Land and Water is also open and accessible to the State Department of Conservation, Fish and Game. By sharing this data across agencies, there is increased project transparency to support economic development and sustainability efforts. At the other end of the continental U.S., Planet’s satellite data also supports the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources (DMR). The Mississippi gulf coast is home to some of the nation’s most productive fin fish and shellfish waters. To ensure the sustainable use of these wetland ecosystems, the DMR works to regulate and restore these habitats yearly. Using PlanetScope imagery, the DMR was able to conduct necessary due diligence to protect wetlands and enforce accurate permitting programs. Wetland habitats are home to a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, including seagrasses that are vital to the ecosystem. As part of their role, the DMR provides permits to allow clients to mitigate and transport sections of vegetation for coastal development. In one instance, a client reported that in their designated zone, the aquatic vegetation was no longer present and requested a permit modification. It was critical that the DMR was able to ensure that the movement of this growing vegetation was a natural phenomenon and not due to human interference, such as mechanical removal or obstruction of light from a barge. Using PlanetScope’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR team was able to go back day-by-day through the previous year to ensure that there was no man-made structure, barge, or interference to the vegetation on the site. They concluded that the species movement was indeed a natural phenomenon, and thanks to Planet’s high temporal resolution imagery, they were able to support the changing permit status with confidence. This case highlighted how daily transparency allowed the DMR to increase local enforcement and conduct their due diligence to keep the wetlands safe. As a new customer, the Mississippi DMR was able to see immediate results from Planet’s product; and they are now exploring further uses for the data. These explorations will dive into identifying point sources of wetlands sedimentation, monitoring seagrass movement, and evaluating tidal marsh health and water quality. By working with Planet’s high-cadence imagery, the DMR will be able to better gauge secondary and cumulative impacts when projects are implemented. Each year, more and more state and local governments are using Planet’s data to support their regional planning processes, manage their local industries, and protect their ecosystems. Their additional customers include the New Mexico State Land Office, the Port of Long Beach, Humboldt County, California, City and County of San Francisco, Autoridad Nacional de Licencias Ambientales in Colombia, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission and the County of San Luis Obispo in California. Working with state and local governments aligns with Planet’s goals to support communities and protect the environment. Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ), a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company. As it joins the public market, Planet will become a public benefit corporation (PBC), in which its mission will be encoded into its corporate DNA, obligating Planet’s directors to stay true to their mission as part of their fiduciary duty to their stockholders. Planet’s public benefit purpose is: “To accelerate humanity to a more sustainable, secure and prosperous world by illuminating environmental and social change.” About Planet Planet is the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing and compiling data from over 3 million images per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, including the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery.

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