Microsoft could be planning to run future data centers with nuclear power

Data center server room lit with green lights
(Image credit: Shutterstock/Tomasz Wozniak)

A new job listing advertised by Microsoft and spotted by CNBC suggests that Microsoft could be looking to power future data centers with controversial nuclear energy.

The role of “Principal Program Manager [for] Nuclear Technology” suggests that a successful applicant could play a key role in a pivotal era for Microsoft as it gears up to prepare for what company CEO Satya Nadella calls “the next major wave of computing.”

The listing says that the successful candidate will be “responsible for maturing and implementing a global Small Modular Reactor (SMR) and microreactor energy strategy.”

Microsoft exploring nuclear energy options

The role will involve looking into how SMRs and microreactors can power the company’s data centers - specifically, those responsible for Microsoft Cloud and AI.

The senior-level role asks for at least six years' experience in the nuclear industry, engineering, energy market, or other related roles.

The news comes just days after Redmond announced the upcoming general availability of its Copilot-branded suite of generative AI tools, which are set to be embedded across the operating system and office software.

Microsoft was one of the earliest companies to really begin to explore how AI can help in the workplace and subsequently invested billions into OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT and the GPT models that power many of its AI tools.

Data centers across the globe, including Microsoft’s, have come under intense scrutiny in recent months as AI and cloud adoption have started to ramp up. Notorious for their intensive use of resources, including energy and water, companies are under increasing pressure to make data centers more efficient.

SMRs and microreactors would be quicker and cheaper to build than full-scale nuclear power plants, however there are benefits to doing things at scale, including potentially being more cost and energy-efficient in the long run.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!