Sometimes when the earth moves, not everyone notices

June 7, 2024, 7:01AMNuclear NewsCraig Piercy

Craig Piercy

On August 23, 2011, at 1:51 p.m., I was standing next to Matt Milazzo, a former ANS Congressional Fellow, on the sidewalk of a high-traffic D.C. street. We were saying goodbye after a pleasant lunch. At that exact moment, a seismic wave from a 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Mineral, Va.—one that would be felt as far away as Canada and cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage—rippled under my feet. Perhaps it felt too familiar, like a heavy truck passing by, or maybe the oscillation peaked just as I was turning to walk back to my office. Either way, I didn’t feel a thing. The largest East Coast earthquake in 100 years, and I missed it. Completely. It wasn’t until I saw the stunned faces of my colleagues and a few picture frames scattered on the floor of my office that I understood the gravity of the moment.

Today, as I wrap my head around the stunningly large amount of energy that will be required to support advanced data center and AI functions in the coming years, I get the same feeling—that something big and consequential has happened in my larger world and I have been slow to perceive the magnitude of it.

Duke partnering with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Nucor on energy security

May 30, 2024, 3:00PMNuclear News
Photo: Duke Energy

Duke Energy announced agreements yesterday with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Nucor to accelerate clean energy deployments in the Carolinas through a new rate structure proposal.

The company signed memoradums of understanding this month that include proposed Accelerating Clean Energy (ACE) tariffs that would help offset the long-term costs of investing in clean energy technologies, such as new nuclear and energy storage, through early commitments. Duke announced its partnership with the tech and utility giants at this week’s White House Summit on Domestic Nuclear Deployment aimed at strengthening the U.S. nuclear industry.

Constellation, ComEd ink deal for hourly matching with nuclear power

September 19, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
The Byron nuclear power plant. (Photo: Constellation Energy)

Constellation Energy has announced an agreement with Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), Illinois’s largest electric utility, to power the latter’s 54 offices and metered facilities with locally produced nuclear energy, 24/7.

Helion inks fusion energy purchase agreement with Microsoft

May 10, 2023, 3:00PMNuclear News
Image: Helion

Helion Energy, based in Everett, Wash., today announced an agreement to use its first fusion power plant to provide electricity to Microsoft. Constellation, which operates 21 commercial nuclear reactors in the United States, will serve as the power marketer and will manage transmission for the project.

Terrestrial Energy chosen for coal conversion program

November 8, 2022, 12:05PMNuclear News

Ontario’s advanced nuclear technology firm Terrestrial Energy yesterday announced the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) with TerraPraxis, a U.K.-based nonprofit devoted to climate solutions, to cooperate on the latter’s Repowering Coal initiative—a program aimed at integrating clean heat sources with existing infrastructure at coal-fired power plants in North America and elsewhere.

OPG, Microsoft to work toward net-zero future for Ontario

September 28, 2022, 3:06PMNuclear News

Ontario Power Generation and Microsoft Canada have formed a partnership aimed at combatting climate change and driving sustainable growth across the province of Ontario, the Canadian utility announced this week.

Under the partnership, Microsoft will procure clean energy credits (CECs) sourced from OPG’s nuclear and hydro assets in Ontario on an hourly basis. (OPG’s nuclear assets include the four-unit Darlington plant and six-unit Pickering facility.) According to the announcement, this will enable Microsoft to advance toward its 100/100/0 by 2030 goal, which commits the software firm to powering its data centers globally with zero-carbon energy, 24/7.

Microsoft: Nuclear help wanted

November 17, 2021, 9:30AMANS Nuclear Cafe

Microsoft, the America-based multinational technology corporation that produces computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services, is looking for a director of nuclear technologies engineering.

Published this week on LinkedIn, the job announcement states, “We are looking for a Nuclear Technologies Engineer to research methods of utilizing nuclear energy and design useful nuclear systems. You’ll monitor and report on engineering processes, including nuclear waste disposal and safety regulations. You will handle complex machinery and resolve on-site emergencies.”

The successful candidate can be based anywhere in the U.S., the announcement added.

Basic fusion research accelerates with infusion of DOE funds

July 7, 2021, 9:28AMNuclear News

The Department of Energy’s Office of Science has named seven companies as the recipients of cost-shared funding granted through the Innovation Network for Fusion Energy (INFUSE). A total of $2.1 million in first-round fiscal year 2021 funding was awarded on July 1 across nine collaborative projects between DOE national laboratories and private industry aimed at overcoming challenges in fusion energy development.