Microsoft hires nuclear expert to fuel its data centres

  • Microsoft hires a director of nuclear technology to develop atomic reactors to power data centres, replacing fossil fuels.
  • Developing nuclear technology to replace fossil fuel power is in line with Microsoft’s goal of decarbonising the power sector.
  • Microsoft has been looking to bolster its nuclear strategy and last year it published a list of related jobs.

Microsoft hired nuclear experts to oversee efforts to power its data centres with nuclear power instead of fossil fuels. Data centres use a lot of electricity, which can be an obstacle for companies to meet their climate goals. Nuclear power is indeed an answer to meet the growth in demand, and it does not affect the environment because it does not emit greenhouse gases. However, the handling of radioactive waste and the uranium supply chain looks set to be a long-running dispute.

— TunaTu, BTW Reporter

No more traditional methods of generating electricity

Microsoft has hired Archie Manoharan, a nuclear energy expert, as director of nuclear technology to lead plans to develop small atomic reactors that power data centres as an alternative to fossil fuels. At a time when energy-intensive artificial intelligence technology is explosively penetrating every corner of every industry, Microsoft is no longer using traditional power generation methods to keep data centres running, but is looking for next-generation nuclear reactors that can power its massive data centres.

Also read: Microsoft hires DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman as CEO of new AI unit

Also read: Microsoft’s data centre consumes massive amount of water

Immediate effects of replacement and subsequent concerns

Choosing nuclear instead of fossil fuels is in line with Microsoft’s goal of decarbonising the power sector. In fact, it’s not just Microsoft, companies like Google and Apple are already accelerating their goal to become carbon neutral. The massive consumption of electricity by data centres is bound to pose challenges to climate goals, and nuclear power is a practical and effective solution that does not contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, but there are also strong concerns about radioactive waste and uranium supply chains generated by the use of nuclear power.


Tuna Tu

Tuna Tu, an intern reporter at BTW media dedicated in IT infrastructure and media. She graduated from The Communication University of Zhejiang and now works in Hangzhou. Send tips to

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