Future data centres could potentially incorporate nuclear reactors


Data centres dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) require significantly more power than standard data centres, posing a challenge for the industry. Chris Sharp, Chief Technology Officer at Digital Realty, believes that nuclear power could be the solution. He suggests that data centres of the future could come equipped with their own built-in nuclear reactors, specifically Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). While there are currently no SMRs in commercial operation, China is building the world’s first, and similar technology is used in nuclear-powered submarines. Some companies are exploring the use of SMRs to power data centres, although critics argue that the high cost and safety concerns associated with nuclear power make it an unrealistic option. However, Oklo, a California-based company, claims to have an SMR design that is almost ready for deployment and says that major data centre operators have expressed interest in the technology. Oklo envisions a large stainless steel tank containing the SMR dropped into a hole in the ground, with the data centre built around it.

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