Microsoft has seriously taken up the problem of providing data centers with electricity produced by small modular reactors (SMRs) and microreactors. According to Datacenter Dynamics, the company is already looking for a program manager who is ready to be responsible for preparing and implementing a strategy for obtaining energy for data centers from sources of this type.
These are not the company’s first measures aimed at expanding the use of nuclear energy in the data center market. For example, it already purchases green credits (CEC) from nuclear power plants, and in July it was reported that Microsoft’s Boydton data center would receive “virtual” nuclear power through a purchase agreement with Constellation nuclear power plants.
The job description states that the position provides technical assessment of the integration of SMR and microreactors to power data centers used by the company’s cloud and AI systems. A top manager must formulate and adapt a plan for the implementation of small reactors, carefully select partners and select technologies, and regularly assess the business consequences of their implementation. The new role also includes participation in the study and development of technologies that have not yet reached commercial levels.
As the strain on power grids continues to rise around the world, energy availability has become an extremely important factor for the data center industry, delaying data center projects in many regions. The situation is aggravated by the fact that companies are trying to switch to new, environmentally friendly technologies, access to which is even more limited. Modular reactors in this light are considered as cheaper, more compact and quickly implemented alternatives to traditional nuclear power plants. Such systems can even be used on the territory of the data centers themselves.
It is known that modular reactors with a power of up to 470 MW began to be promoted by Rolls-Royce. Last Energy has already secured customers for its 20MW solutions in the UK. NuScale has received regulatory approval in the US for 50-77 MW SMR, and Oklo plans to implement SMR from 15 MW. Terra Power, supported by one of the founders of Microsoft, Bill Gates, also operates on the market.
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