From Elon Musk to Jeff Bezos, these tech bosses apostles of nuclear

“Generating more energy, not less, improves the quality of life for everyone. » By this maxim, accompanied by the small yellow logo with three rays symbolizing nuclear power, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey took a stand for atomic energy on Tuesday, January 4. In the process, he republished, also on the social network, a cartoon ironic on the fact that the closure of nuclear power plants decided “to save the planet” was offset by rising energy prices.

Surprising? The posting of this opinion shows that clichés about the tech industry are simplistic: Mr. Dorsey is often depicted as the symbol of a new age, libertarian Californian Silicon Valley, fond of meditation and renewable energies. However, he is not the only digital boss to have declared his love for nuclear power, seen as a field of innovation and a means of satisfying growing needs.

To colonize space

On December 8, 2021, Elon Musk, the provocative founder of Tesla and SpaceX, had already posted on Twitter this sentence : “Unless they are exposed to natural disasters, nuclear power plants should not be shut down. » “I’m not saying that you have to build a whole bunch of new reactors, but that you don’t have to shut down those that are working safely,” he said, in September 2021, during a conference, criticizing the policy of Germany, reported the site Business Insider. A supporter of wind and solar power, Mr. Musk has also regularly touted nuclear power for his space dream: this energy could propel interplanetary rockets or heat the atmosphere of Mars through controlled fusion, modeled on the Sun, a he imagined.

Fusion and space also fascinate his rival Jeff Bezos: the founder of Amazon has long invested in the start-up General Fusion, which, in June 2021, chose the suburbs of London for its future prototype. And, to colonize space, it will take “adapted nuclear reactors”, because “Solar power becomes problematic the further you get from the Sun”, said the boss of Blue Origin, in 2016, at the washington post.

These new apostles of nuclear power join their predecessor in tech, Bill Gates: the founder of Microsoft is chairman of the board of directors of TerraPower, a start-up specializing in small reactors (SMR).

Google is not as militant. But this pioneer of renewable energies has, since 2018, admitted nuclear power in the energies “decarbonized” with which he wants to eventually supply his sites twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

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