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    Microsoft looking for nuclear program manager to power AI, cloud data centres

    September 27, 2023 - Science Desk


      Microsoft is looking for a program manager to develop and implement a strategy to power its artificial intelligence and cloud data centres using nuclear energy.

      Microsoft seems to be looking to power its artificial intelligence and cloud data centers across the world using nuclear power..

      Or at least, that is what can be deduced from a job advertisement it posted on its website. Microsoft is looking to hire a “Principal Program Manager, Nuclear Technology” to implement a global Small Modular Reactor and microreactor energy strategy to power its artificial intelligence and cloud data centres across the world, according to the job description posted on Monday.

      This program manager will also “ maintain a clear and adaptable roadmap for the technology’s integration, diligently select and manage technology partners and solutions, and constantly evaluate the business implications of progress and implementation,” according to the description.

      Microsoft in January announced that it is making a multi-year, 10 billion dollar investment in OpenAI, the leading artificial intelligence company behind the wildly successful ChatGPT and DALL-E.

      Small Modular Reactors, or SMRs, are exactly what the name suggests — small, modular, nuclear fission power plants that typically have one-third the power generation capacity of traditional nuclear reactors.

      They are a fraction of the size of a conventional nuclear power plant and their systems and components are usually factory-assembled and transported as a unit to a location for installation. Currently, the only SMR in operation is Russia’s Akademik Lomonosov, the first Russian floating power station that has a 34-megawatt capacity, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency. However, more than 30 commercial SMR designs are being developed across the world.

      Interestingly, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates is chairman of the board of Terrapower, a Washington-based company working on developing and scaling SMRs. However, a Terrapower representative told CNBC that the company “does not currently have any agreements to sell reactors to Microsoft.”

      Nuclear fission reactors are often looked at as an important source of renewable energy but they also often invite controversy. Nuclear power plant failures like those that happened at Chernobyl, Three Mile Island and Fukushima have generated public skepticism for the technology.

      While many countries like the United States, Japan, China, France and Britain are considering further investments in nuclear energy to replace fossil fuels that cause climate change, some countries, like Germany, have either phased out or are in the process of phasing out nuclear reactors.


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