A job listing for the chief program officer leading Microsoft’s nuclear energy strategy reveals that the company believes next-generation nuclear reactors can power its data centers and artificial intelligence ambitions.

Data centers already use a lot of electricity, which could thwart the company’s climate goals if it can’t find clean energy sources. Energy-hungry AI makes this even more of a challenge for business.

Nuclear energy does not produce greenhouse gas emissions. Regardless, it could open up a whole new downside to dealing with radioactive waste and rebuilding the uranium supply chain. Nuclear power’s role in fighting climate change is still hotly debated, but Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has long been a big fan of the technology.

Based on the new job posting, it looks like Microsoft is betting on advanced nuclear reactors to find a solution. The job posting says it’s hiring someone to lead project initiatives in all aspects of nuclear infrastructure for global growth.

Microsoft is specifically looking for someone who can develop a plan for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). All the current hype around nuclear power revolves around these next generation reactors. Unlike their older, much larger predecessors, these modular reactors are easier and cheaper to build. By comparison, the last major nuclear reactor under construction in the U.S. finally came on stream this summer after a seven-year delay at a budget of roughly $17 billion.

Source: The Verge