Blockchain biz goes nuclear: Standard Power wants to use NuScale reactors for DCs

Please, no crypto boom, thank you

Colocation outfit Standard Power hopes to power two new datacenters in Ohio and Pennsylvania entirely by miniaturized nuclear reactors from NuScale.

Standard Power makes no secret it focuses on providing datacenter services to not just those into AI workloads and other kinds of high-performance computing but also those performing proof-of-work blockchain mining, the kind needed to craft digital tokens like Bitcoin. The significant energy requirements of this type of blockchain work spurred an investigation by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy last year, and calls by lawmakers to implement reporting and/or sustainability requirements for such operations.

Generally speaking, a datacenter packed with proof-of-work miners is going to demand a chunky amount of power. Concerned it may not get adequate electricity supplies for its new facilities, which by the sounds of it will support blockchain mining as well as other workloads, Standard Power said it hopes to take the nuclear option.

"We see a lot of legacy baseload grid capacity going offline with a lack of new sustainable baseload generation options on the market especially as power demand for artificial intelligence-computing and datacenters is growing," Standard Power CEO Maxim Serezhin said in a statement.

And the colo outfit's Ohio and Pennsylvania datacenters may need or get a lot of power. The company expects to deploy 24 of NuScale's small modular reactors between the two sites. These reactors are reportedly capable of generating 77 megawatts apiece — putting the total deployed capacity at 1,848 megawatts.

Despite the announcement, it may be a few years before Standard Power can realize its nuclear dreams. As we learned in January, Idaho National Labs will be among the first to demonstrate NuScale's reactors, and the first of these modules isn't expected to come online until 2029. We asked Standard Power when it expects its facilities will be operational; we'll let you know if we hear anything back.

As we discussed last week, while commercial reactors of this kind are a relatively new development, the underlying technology isn't. The expertise required to miniaturize reactors has been around since the 1950s and was developed for things like submarines, such as the USS Nautilus.

The innovations that small modular reactors (SMRs) make largely have had to do with manufacturing and modularity. The idea is that these reactors can be built on an assembly line and deployed in clusters depending on the amount of power required. TerraPower, Westinghouse, and NuScale are just a few of the companies developing SMR technology, although NuScale is the first to receive approval by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission for commercial deployments.

Standard Power is hardly the first datacenter operator to get excited about nuclear power, either. Cumulus Data opened a datacenter next to a nuclear plant — the full-size kind — in January and last month we learned that Microsoft is now hiring someone to potentially deploy SMR systems to power its growing cloud enterprise. ®

Send us news

Plans to heat districts with datacenters may prove too hot to handle

Report points out the difficulties of getting such a system right

Texas judge turns out the lights on federal survey of cryptominers' energy consumption

Washington sees potential emergency as miners power up to chase new BTC high

Europe's datacenter dilemma is that hyperscalers are hogging them all

Space scarcity and soaring build costs send rent through the roof

Space nukes: The unbelievably bad idea that's exactly that ... unbelievable

Like the reality, the concept is blown up out of all proportion. So who launched it this time around?

LockBit extorted billions of dollars from victims, fresh leaks suggest

Investigating LockBit’s finances has blown previous estimates of the operation’s wealth out of the water

Meta seeks ASIC designers for ML accelerators and datacenter SoCs

Appears to be struggling to find them, even in India, as it's re-posted job ads

Sam Altman's chip ambitions may be loonier than feared

$7 trillion will buy you a helluva lotta fabs or every chip biz of consequence

40k servers, 400k CPUs and 40 PB of storage later... welcome to Google Cloud

Sabre Technology shutters 17 datacenters, says 90% of workloads transferred

Fox News 'hacker' turns out to be journalist whose lawyers say was doing his job

Also, another fake iOS app slips into the store, un-cybersafe EV chargers leave UK shelves, and critical vulns

Please stop pouring the wrong radioactive water into the sea, Fukushima operator told

Government takes TEPCO to task for caesium absorption tower incident

Japanese Yakuza boss charged with nuclear trafficking by the US

No, this isn't a pitch for a Godzilla sequel

Oxide reimagines private cloud as... a 2,500-pound blade server?

Rackscale system can be had with up to 2,048 cores, 32TB of RAM, and nearly a petabyte of flash