Will Nuclear finally be “in the Green” with Bitcoin?

Nuclear’s detractors like to argue that nuclear’s 100% carbon-free energy is not clean and so cannot be accepted as a “renewable” energy source since its fuel requires the mining of uranium (never mind the fact that they count biomass, biowaste and biofuels as “renewable” energy even though these technologies emit as much CO2 as fossil fuels do). They also complain that nuclear is too expensive and takes too long to build.

Then along comes Oklo, which is designing and will soon be building the advance reactor design, the 1.5 MW Aurora, that is expected to be built in under two years for $10 million and which will burn what is currently considered nuclear waste as fuel. News like this doesn’t seem to cause a lot of nuclear’s perennial “anti” campaigners to change their minds but it is causing members of the highly independent-minded Bitcoin community, who are uni-focused on finding clean sources of distributed cheap energy to power mining servers, to sign contracts.

This is a remarkable pairing the implications of which can have far-reaching impacts for the emerging advanced nuclear industry. First, because bitcoin miners check boxes rather than ideologies, nuclear is readily seen as it should be: a green energy source. Second, because bitcoin mining is a money-printing enterprise, demand for nuclear power will fill advanced nuclear’s PPA dance cards, and help the technology pass through the valley of death and begin to earn revenue that for some, may point the way to future operating profitability. Both of these indicators help increase investor interest in the advanced nuclear sector overall, which will facilitate the ability of these ventures to meet their development goals.

For way too long, the nuclear industry and its aged hippy anti-war, anti-nuke detractors have been battling Baby Boomers who long ago agreed to stop listening and just forever disagree. At last, a new generation of entrepreneur “solutionists” are now focused on solving the problems that their parents gave up solving: namely distributed 100% clean energy grids and decentralized finance.  They appear to have found each other. It is refreshing to read about this new technological bromance from David de Caires Watson, an author that speaks the same generational language.

Read The Kernel’s How to Turn Nuclear Reactors Into Clean, Green, Money-Printing Machines: And how a new generation of ‘solutionists’ are making sci fi cool again, by David de Caires Watson, July 29, 2021.

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