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Amazon wants to become a nuclear power

by on06 March 2024

What could go wrong  

Amazon has gone nuclear, snapping up atomic data centres for its cloud empire as part of a £470 million deal with Talen Energy – a US company that makes and sells electricity.

The deal will see Amazon take over a data centre complex called Cumulus that Talen built next to its 2.5 gigawatt nuclear power station in the US.

The 1,075-acre Susquehanna Steam Electric Station is the sixth-largest nuclear plant in the US. It's been online since 1983 and produces 63 million kilowatt hours per day.

The plant will power Amazon's new data centre, up to 960-megawatt and will host Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud computing arm. Amazon has agreed to buy a minimum amount of nuclear power from Talen Energy for several years, with an option to extend the deal.

The deal is the latest in a series of moves by Amazon to expand its cloud business, which raked in £32 billion last year. Amazon Web Services is the world's largest cloud provider, with customers ranging from Netflix to the CIA.

But Amazon faces stiff competition from rivals like Microsoft and Google, which invest in data centres and renewable energy. Amazon also faces scrutiny from regulators and activists over its tax practices, labour conditions, and environmental impact.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2025. Amazon Web Services did not respond to requests for comment.

Last modified on 06 March 2024
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