Taking the Next Step – Building a 21st Century Digital Government

Over the past two years, the NRC has undertaken a number of initiatives to support President Obama’s emphasis on Open Government. We have, for example, made public 29 high-value datasets and embraced a variety of social media channels, including this blog, to share information. These initiatives are in addition to the variety of ways we have historically engaged the public.

On May 23, the President issued his memorandum on Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People. That memorandum launched a comprehensive Digital Government Strategy to enhance service to the public through the use of emerging technologies. Two of the goals in the strategy are to provide information to stakeholders on mobile devices, and provide application developers (not our typical stakeholders) ready access to data for subsequent analysis and use.

To get started we’ve launched a new public website describing the Digital Government Strategy at the NRC. We’ve also proposed two services that we could optimize for mobile use, and five systems that we could “web-enable” for developers using application programming interfaces (APIs). Availability of these new services and systems is targeted for May 23, 2013. For details, see Taking the Next Step.

We’ve based these selections on inputs we’ve received from the public over time through e-mails and web requests, as well as our own information on web page usage and dataset downloads. Nonetheless, we’d like your feedback on what’s important to you. We invite you to Tell Us Your Thoughts, and let us know if we’re on the right track to meet your needs.

So, lend a hand and help us take the next step to build a 21st century platform to better serve the American people. We would appreciate your comments by August 30th, and we thank you in advance for your suggestions.

Stu Reiter
Senior Advisor, E-Government

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

10 thoughts on “Taking the Next Step – Building a 21st Century Digital Government”

  1. Pretty much antinuclear hater rhetoric. Nothing in this post is factual. Its right out of the antinuclear playbook, which is losing steam. The fact that the technology helps combat global warming can not be understated. The new passive technology that offers used fuel recycling reduces the time to store isotopes to a few centuries. Good things,for nuclear tech in the horizon.

  2. Your suggestions have been sent to the NRC’s Open Government working group for consideration. But to clarify, in the event of a radiological emergency in the U.S., radiological data would be measured primarily by the affected utility, the affected state(s), the Department of Energy (including Radiological Assistance Program Teams), the Environmental Protection Agency, and by Department of Defense Civil Support Teams. The public release of this data, whether in raw or processed form, would be at the discretion of the entity that measures the data or entities responsible for releasing quality controlled data products, such as the Department of Homeland Security. The NRC itself does not generate raw radiological data, but collects and analyzes data from all available sources in order to assess it in the interest of protecting public health and safety.

  3. I don’t ever hope to ‘gain control of this industry’, richard. It existed in the U.S. before I was born and will be here long after I’m gone. I don’t care how much money any particular company has made or how much money was or is being used to influence the U.S. (or any other) government. I accept that – just like the citizens of Fukushima – I’m little more than a mobile radiation absorption meat unit to them. I just want to be offered the courtesy of knowing how fast I’m cooking at any given time. The magical superpowers of democracy are useless once the oven door slams shut.

  4. APIs are a great idea! Mining NRC data is pretty difficult, but better than most agencies.

    I don’t believe you need serious APIs, just better publishing through either RSS or JSON. My humble suggestions:

    1) Saved full-text searches for ADAMS that either provide an email notification when a new match appears or updates via an RSS feed.

    2) Bring back the ADAMS Apache SOLR search interface with key:value BOOLEAN searching (yes I know it must have been a real pain to maintain those indexes).

    3) Update Event Notifications as they happen instead of once or twice during the day. Update via RSS, one per Event Notification.

    4) Make Event Notification power reactor and medical reports separate … add filtering.

  5. Thank you Kelly Thomas , your courage to stand up and speak the truth for all who dare not is very aprecciated , let me join you on that list ! Peace !

  6. Its very good to know that to get started you have launched a new public website describing the Digital Government Strategy at the NRC. Where you also proposed two services that we could optimize for mobile use.

  7. Excellent rant, you are spot on, keep it up we need more truth and exposure of this industries deadly messes spreading over the world. The public have to unite around the world to gain control of this industry run by a small minority group with money to control government policies over the public wishes. Again good work, we need more.

  8. No, you’re NOT on the right track. Your public needs simple access to USEFUL data for health, safety and informed consent. The NRC’s Digital Government Strategy only seeks to provide speedy, web-enabled access to relatively USELESS data. What don’t you get about the failed USAToday and CNN model: blasting useless, biased data in real time only trains the audience to ignore them and eventually drives their increasingly skeptical audience away. Forever.

    What “dataset” do you think would be most important to the public on their mobile phone after any kind of radionuclide release event:

    1) Reactor power level report
    2) NRC PR newsfeed
    2) Real-time radionuclide dispersion maps

    The former AEC and now the NRC have consistently demonstrated an attitude of arrogant indifference bordering on contempt for REAL concerns of any critical-thinking ‘general public’. The NRC’s handling of Fukushima data reinforces that belief. USEFUL data is ‘for official use only’ and should only be shared within ‘the federal family’ – it might scare the peons so better to keep them in the dark.

    Not true? Great – how about publishing something useful like the detailed Fukushima dispersion data from the dozens of CTBTO monitoring stations in Japan so someone can write a mapping app? For that matter, how about the detailed data from the CTBTO monitoring stations in the U.S. right now? Japan’s MEXT data is a sad joke even in Japan and the EPA’s U.S. RadNet data is even more untrustworthy and useless. Your ‘public’ isn’t going to want that data any faster. Why would they want an app for your inspection reports? Useless information is ALREADY available on USAToday and CNN.

    I would be surprised to see many comments here related to your Digital Government Strategy. If Japan’s NIST or TEPCO asked for feedback from the Japanese public on content *delivery*, what kind of responses would you expect to see?

  9. The only way you can “build a better platform to better serve the American people” is to create a platform that dismantles all nuclear power plants. How are you serving young Americans right now, the ones who will be forced to maintain these aging nuclear power plants once they have surpassed their lifespans? These plants have a 40 year shelf life, and most are expiring soon. Then what? Is it the responsibility of the next 5,000 generations to maintain these expired nuclear sites? How are you serving the American people by allowing these Extinction Level Event disasters to litter the American landscape?

    Fukushima is already an ELE. Three of the cores have melted through the containment vessels and into the Earth. TEPCO says it doesn’t know where it is (NASA can easily spot it, but refuses to show the pictures to the public), but not to worry because they have everything under control and they have achieved cold shutdown. Never mind that pesky little leak or two and the Photoshopped image of #4, and please take our word for it that we are not killing the Pacific Ocean by continuously pouring waste to sea 24/7. Oh, and let’s pretend that the yellow cloud from the explosion at #2 was hydrogen, even though hydrogen burns white and the explosion was obviously plutonium. How sad that I know such a thing and the NRC doesn’t. We are facing the worst environmental disaster of humankind, a disaster that IS DESTROYING THE PLANET every passing second and the NRC is pushing for MORE nuclear power plants! Do you guys have a death wish? Do you believe that Armageddon is around the corner, so what the hell, why not build more nuclear power planters because the world is going to end in some Dalisque radioactive landscape? How can you possibly keep a straight face while putting forth such useless garbage touting Obama’s “Open Government” (the biggest oxymoron in the world)? Has the NRC been open about the effects of radiation? Of course not. You guys compare the radiation from Fukushima to that of a banana or a plane ride. You ignore the contamination of the US food supply. Meanwhile in Japan, THE CORIUM HAS MELTED THROUGH THE CONTAINMENT VESSELS! There is nothing underneath. The reactors are on a major fault line. This is a freaking disaster!!! If I can figure this out, why can’t the NRC? It is what is referred to as “The China Syndrome” to the common folk. The fourth building is near collapse and when – not if – it does, it is “Adios!” to life on this planet. It’s already happening. The entire Northern Hemisphere has been contaminated by radiation and almost all of the food supply has been affected. There has been a huge spike in stillbirths, miscarriages and mutant babies in the Pacific Northwest and California. Seals are dying. Insects are dying. Plants are changing. The United States is doused in radiation and Radnet is…I am not sure where it is. Last I heard it was checking quarterly instead of daily. We do not know what the true levels of radiation are because this government isn’t an open government, no matter what your PR rep wrote.

    I do not now what the solution is, but I know that nuclear energy is not part of the equation. Your new platform must rebrand the agency as the Nuclear Decommissioning Agency – and do it soon before the US and Japanese economies and governments collapse, because then there is no one left to fund the decommissioning of these reactors. And god forbid solar activity takes out part of the grid and these plants do not have enough energy to maintain hot and/or cold shutdown. But you guys probably have a plan for this, some super secret plan that does not fall within the parameter’s of Obama’s “Open Government,” right?

    If the agency, employees and the PR shills who work for them collectively believe that nuclear power is safe and Fukushima radiation is just bananas, then I propose you put your money where your mouth is and have a little field trip to Fukushima – without radiation gear or even Geiger counter (because nuclear energy is SAFE!) – and eat everything grown in the Fukushima prefecture. You can put it live on YouTube for all to see! Or you could even do Pay-per-view – I think that it would be a revenue maker for the federal government! I would pay to watch every GS-13 and up (if they are still called that) and every manager have a picnic outside of Fukushima Daichi (but don’t sit too close to #4 in case it collapses). Until you are willing to expose yourself to Fukushima (not that you haven’t been for a year and a half), I think you need to adopt a new platform that better serves Americans and dismantles all nuclear facilities.

    I know that signing my name to this will likely put me on some sort of enemy list, if I am not already on one. So be it. At least the person in charge of my dossier will be forced to confront the reality of the situation and to realize just who it is they are serving when they collect their paychecks. At least I cannot be accused of committing a crime against humanity.

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