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Utilities Eye Nuclear Power to Meet Data Center Power Demand

May 22, 2024

By Paul Ciampoli

In a Q&A with Public Power Current, Chris Lohse, Innovation and Technology Manager, Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear at the Idaho National Laboratory, was asked to describe what the selling points an existing U.S. nuclear power plant operator could make to data centers looking for power supplies.

“I can’t speak for the nuclear plant owners themselves and a lot of this will vary by what is allowed in the market that it operates in,” he said.

“Our current fleet of nuclear power plants operate very well with capacity factors that average ~93%. They also generate large amounts of power with zero emissions. So in the end they provide baseload power with zero carbon, so for companies looking to reduce carbon emissions with large power demands, it’s a pretty good match,” he said.

Lohse noted that the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear “did a small study to look at the costs to run a data center using 100% renewables plus battery or 100% nuclear and ranges of nuclear/renewables. This was assumed to be off the grid as the discussion about load growth has people looking at various options.”

Utilities Eye Nuclear Power to Meet Data Center Power Demand
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