Microsoft to Harness Small Modular Nuclear Reactors for Powering Data Centers
Microsoft is paving the way for utilizing small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) to power its data centers, supporting the vast computing power required for artificial intelligence (AI) operations. Currently, data centers consume approximately 20% of the electricity in the United States, with 10% dedicated to general data center operations and an additional 10% for bitcoin mining.
SMRs, also known as small advanced nuclear reactors, have a power capacity of up to 300 MW(e) per unit, roughly one-third of the generation capacity of traditional nuclear power reactors. These reactors have garnered significant attention worldwide, with over 80 different designs being developed for various purposes including electricity generation, hybrid energy systems, heating, water desalination, and industrial steam applications. While a few SMRs are operational in China, Russia, and Japan, there are ongoing construction projects in the United States, Asia, Russia, and South America.
By incorporating SMRs within its infrastructure, Microsoft aims to ensure a sustainable and reliable power source for its data centers, which are vital for AI computations. With the increasing demand for AI technologies and their power requirements, alternative energy sources such as SMRs present a promising solution.
The integration of SMRs into Microsoft’s data centers showcases the company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and reliance on traditional energy sources. This is aligned with Microsoft’s broader sustainability goals, focusing on renewable energy and addressing the environmental impact of its operations.
Source: Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Note: Definitions of terms used in the article can be found on relevant online platforms or in technical publications.
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