Microsoft specializes in developing, manufacturing, selling, supporting and licensing software, computer technologies, video games and operating systems, and is active in the production of computer components, servers and phones.
The "Windows" system is one of the most famous Microsoft products, which has strengthened its position in history, after it became in 2021 the second technology company in the world, with a market value exceeding the level of $ 2 trillion, after Apple.
Currently, the market value of Microsoft exceeds the barrier of $ 2.3 trillion, and it is the second largest company in the world in terms of market value, supported by the development of its business in a way that keeps pace with the changes that occur in the market, Microsoft, which was founded in 1975 by both Bill Gates and his colleague Paul Allan, is still until now and under the management of CEO Satya Nadella, looking to invest in any new technology that ensures its continued superiority in the market.
The success of Microsoft's strategy was evident at the end of 2022, with the announcement of ChatGPT, which embodies the new generation of artificial intelligence known as generative artificial intelligence.
Surprising job offer
Although OpenAI was the owner of this innovation, Microsoft is the largest funding partner and supporter of OpenAI, and this began in 2019, when Microsoft pumped more than a billion dollars in investments in the maker of "ChatGPT" to develop the relationship that brings the two parties further in 2021, with a new funding round, leading to the beginning of 2023, with the announcement of Microsoft's intention to inject up to $ 10 billion, into OpenAI over the years. Next, in order to enhance cooperation between the two parties regarding the development of generative artificial intelligence technologies.
Now, towards the end of 2023, Microsoft is back in the fore again, as a job advertisement published by the company raised eyebrows, as it revealed its need to hire a "major program manager for nuclear technology", which raised questions about what the company is planning, and why it entered the world of nuclear energy.
According to Microsoft, the nuclear technology expert you are looking for will be tasked with maturing and developing a roadmap for operating cloud data centers and artificial intelligence through small modular reactors (SMR) or small nuclear reactors.
What are small modular reactors?
Small Standard Reactors (SMR) are a small nuclear reactor that generates electricity by nuclear fission method and is manufactured in a large nuclear power plant, and then transported to its designated site.
Small modular reactors (SMRs) have become an attractive option for power producers recently, they are much smaller than conventional nuclear power plants, they can be built more quickly and at a lower cost, and they are also designed to be safer, as in the event of any error, the reactor shuts down automatically, preventing the release of radiation.
The modular design of SMR allows reactors to be built that meet the specific energy needs of an organization, and this reactor can be placed near this organization, reducing the need to transmit electricity, over long distances, meaning that the energy produced can be used more efficiently and effectively.
Small nuclear reactors (SMRs) can be powered by a variety of different fuels, such as uranium, plutonium, thorium and even recycled nuclear waste.
Digital transformation expert Paul Semaan said in an interview with Sky News Arabia's economy that Microsoft's resort to small nuclear reactors, which generate electricity in a nuclear fission manner, has several reasons, most notably the company's need for a large amount of electricity for data centers and artificial intelligence, which requires the process of operating servers and other devices in which they have huge amounts of energy, so Microsoft, through its search for a "major program manager for nuclear technology", has begun to develop a road map, to do Everything needed to adopt the path of electricity production through nuclear energy.
According to Semaan, small nuclear reactors will help Microsoft reduce the costs of the electricity bill, in light of the expected growth in its energy needs, revealing that natural gas and coal are among the main sources for operating data centers currently, and this forces companies to search for more sustainable energy sources, especially technology companies that enhance their efforts to adopt environmentally friendly technologies and solutions, which requires the development of new sources of energy.
Semaan believes that Microsoft, despite having great financial capabilities, helps it adopt the idea of building small nuclear reactors that provide the company with energy, but this ultimately needs to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals from the competent authorities, pointing out that, if Microsoft succeeds in this challenge, this will accelerate the process of spreading and adopting small nuclear reactors.
Semaan predicted that the continuous development of generative artificial intelligence will help design, develop, manage and operate small nuclear reactors more safely and efficiently.
Investing in all forms of nuclear energy
For his part, computer and programming engineer Mohammed Al-Haraka, in an interview with the "Economy of Sky News Arabia" website, said that Microsoft always seeks to be the first to employ new technologies, especially in the field of energy production, to operate its data centers and artificial intelligence.
He revealed that the company's move, which aims to hire a nuclear expert, is not only related to small nuclear reactors that produce energy by the method of "nuclear fission", but also to reactors that will produce energy by the method of "nuclear fusion", which has not yet been put on the commercial level due to its lack of readiness.
The movement reveals that in May of this year, Microsoft signed an agreement to purchase electricity from Helion Energy Production Company, using a "nuclear fusion" method starting in 2028, considering that this agreement marked the beginning of Microsoft's transition to nuclear energy, to be completed now by the search for a nuclear expert, whose task is to prepare the ground within the company and make it adaptable to the expected change.
According to the movement, the small standard reactors (SMR) that Microsoft plans to rely on, in the coming period, may cost more than one billion dollars to build, but this large amount is worth the risk, as the repercussions of this step will be positive, and will lead to reducing Microsoft's energy bill, very significantly and for many years, revealing that many countries have begun to explore opportunities to adopt a policy of building small nuclear power plants, due to the positives that vary between cost, flexibility and safety.
The movement believes that the regulatory authorities in the United States of America will scrutinize well what Microsoft is planning, as the construction of any nuclear reactor, whatever its type, must be accompanied by adherence to safety conditions, and the employment of people with specialized expertise, as is the case with all nuclear technologies, nuclear facilities must undergo intensive safety tests, noting that the rules and regulations governing the construction of reactors (SMR) are still under development, which makes it difficult for Microsoft to obtain approval in Soon.
There are concerns about the potential environmental impacts of building small nuclear reactors, as this task is complex and requires careful study and planning, specifically in terms of providing solutions, to safely dispose of nuclear waste produced by this reactor.