Training the latest AI models consumes gigantic amounts of computing power and therefore electricity in Microsoft’s data centers. To solve this problem, Redmond is now even considering operating nuclear power plants for this purpose.
Own atomic department
In the job advertisements, Microsoft is currently looking for a “Principal Program Manager Nuclear Technology”, i.e. someone who could lead a corresponding specialist department. This should be able to deal with a number of problems that may arise in this area – this applies to both technical and social-regulatory questions.
Basically, Microsoft is relying on the idea of small modular reactors (SMRs) and micro reactors, such as those used in nuclear-powered ships. SMRs, on the other hand, are small nuclear power plants that, according to their advocates, should become cheaper through series production – although such systems do not yet exist in practice.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates has been pursuing the idea of using more nuclear power plants with newer designs for a long time – even if, from the point of view of various experts, this hardly solves the most important problems with the use of nuclear power. For Microsoft, the main concern here is to keep the escalating costs of operating AI data centers under control.
Fusion in view
The manager now being sought for this “has the task of leading the technical evaluation for the integration of SMR and microreactors in order to operate the data centers in which the Microsoft Cloud and the AI are housed,” it said. This also includes finding the appropriate technology partners with whom the construction of small nuclear power plants can be implemented.
The candidate should also have experience with the legal and social problems of the energy sector. The Redmond company is well aware that it will not only involve technical difficulties if they want to build a nuclear power plant near the data centers.
Another aspect of the post should go beyond the classic use of nuclear power. “This position will also be responsible for the research and development of other pre-commercial energy technologies,” the job advertisement states. In concrete terms, this means that the existing initiatives to make nuclear fusion usable should also be taken into account here.
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