Tech firms claim nuclear will solve AI’s power needs – they’re wrong

The Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station in Pennsylvania, which closed in 2019

Michael Ventura/Alamy

Silicon Valley wants to use nuclear power to support the energy-hungry data centres that help train and deploy its artificial intelligence models. But realistic timelines show that any US nuclear renaissance will have at best a limited impact during a period of fast-rising electricity demand.

Global electricity usage from data centres is already on track to double by 2026. In the US, data centres represent the fastest-growing source of energy demand at a time when the country’s…

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