In recent months, Microsoft has accelerated its AI efforts. At last week’s Surface event, the company unveiled new features for its Copilot AI tool. However, AI requires intensive work in the data center. One report even showed ChatGPT drinking a pint of water for every 20 commands.
as per New job posting (Viewed by DCD), Microsoft is considering using nuclear power to power its massive data centers. The company is seeking a “Nuclear Technology Principal Program Manager” to lead efforts to integrate small modular reactors (SMRs) and microreactors.
This person will be tasked with developing a strategy and roadmap for adopting nuclear technology, selecting partners and assessing the business impacts.
SMRs are smaller, simpler nuclear fission plants that can be mass produced and located more easily than traditional reactors. Although no commercial SMRs are yet in operation, Microsoft seems intrigued by the compact size and carbon-free power generation. Because data centers are major energy hogs, Microsoft is looking for ways to reduce costs and environmental footprint.
This senior role is tasked with leading the technical evaluation for the integration of SMR and microreactors to power the data centers that house Microsoft’s cloud and AI. They will maintain a clear and adaptable roadmap for technology integration, carefully select and manage technology partners and solutions, and constantly assess the business implications of progress and implementation.
However, significant barriers to the deployment of SMRs remain. The technology is still in development and faces regulatory hurdles. Locating nuclear facilities near data centers may also raise security concerns. So Microsoft is looking for someone with energy experience who understands the regulations.
The ideal candidate will have experience in the energy industry and a deep understanding of nuclear technologies and regulatory matters. This position will also be responsible for the research and development of other pre-commercial energy technologies.
Microsoft has already invested in other nascent energy technologies like fusion power. But, realizing the goal of carbon negative actions by 2030 may require more proven and scalable solutions.