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Amazon presses the nuclear button

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on Financial Times or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: Amazon has ventured into nuclear energy by acquiring a nuclear-powered data center in Pennsylvania, marking a significant shift in Big Tech's energy-sourcing strategies
• This move is part of a broader interest in nuclear energy among tech giants, driven by the increasing energy demands of cloud computing, AI, and other technologies

🔭 The context: The acquisition involves a 10-year power purchase agreement with the Susquehanna nuclear power station, showcasing Amazon Web Services' commitment to diversifying its energy sources beyond wind and solar
• This aligns with a growing trend of reevaluating nuclear power's role in achieving clean, reliable energy at scale, amid rising public and governmental support

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Nuclear energy offers a carbon-free alternative to fossil fuels, providing a steady power supply unlike intermittent wind and solar sources
• With tech giants like Amazon leading the charge, this could herald a new era of nuclear energy, potentially accelerating the transition to a more sustainable and stable energy grid

⏭️ What's next: The tech industry's embrace of nuclear power may signal the beginning of a nuclear renaissance, with implications for energy policy, climate change mitigation, and the future of clean energy technology
• As tech companies continue to invest in and advocate for nuclear energy, we may see an increase in new nuclear projects and innovations

💬 One quote: "We lost a bunch of American nuclear plants in part because Amazon and others refused to accept nuclear as clean," said Mark Nelson, managing director of the consultancy Radiant Energy Group, highlighting the significance of Amazon's policy shift.

📈 One stat: Demand from data centers, AI, and cryptocurrencies is projected to more than double from 2022 to 2026, reaching 1,000 TWh, about the total electricity usage of Japan.

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