First Nuclear Powered Bitcoin Mine | Cryptocurrency mining costs

First Nuclear Powered Bitcoin Mine |  Cryptocurrency mining costs

  • A new data center in Pennsylvania operating at a nuclear power plant will host bitcoin mining.
  • It is the first Bitcoin mine in the US to be powered by nuclear power.
  • Bitcoin mining has historically been a polluting industry, but is now beginning to focus on cleaner energy to run energy-hungry computers.

Computers consume a lot of energy, as do the blockchains needed to continuously mine cryptocurrency. But a new nuclear-powered data center is due to launch in Pennsylvania later this year, and it could convert at least some of that pollution-related power consumption to a cleaner version.

Cumulus Data has completed the first phase of its 475-megawatt carbon-neutral Susquehanna data center campus in northeast Pennsylvania. The project starts with a 48 MW data center with 300,000 square feet. house TeraWolfbitcoin mining company.

The 1,200-acre campus is dedicated to zero-carbon power generation at Talen Energy’s nuclear power plant in Susquehanna. Cumulus data centers will be connected directly to the site without the use of traditional power transmission and distribution systems. On-site nuclear-powered direct-connect data centers will make it the first nuclear-powered bitcoin mine in the US.

In order to mine additional bitcoins, computers must constantly work on solving complex puzzles. This process sucks energy, which has led to the creation of huge data centers around the world dedicated only to bitcoin mining. These data centers need power. Ethereum, the second largest crypto-blockchain in the world, has already begun to improve its carbon reduction efforts, but bitcoin accounts for roughly 70 percent of all crypto electricity usage and hasn’t made much headway in cleaning up its process.

According to the US government, electricity consumption from global cryptocurrency mining quadrupled from 2018 to 2022. By mid-2022, crypto assets were consuming more than 240 billion kilowatt-hours per year — more than the annual amount of electricity in countries like Argentina or Australia. Crypto electricity use accounts for almost 1% of all annual electricity consumption in the world, and crypto transactions consume up to 1.7% of all US energy consumption.

As data centers around the world seek to shift cryptocurrency mining to renewable energy, switching to nuclear power could be one way to clean up the industry.

Head shot of Tim Newcomb

Tim Newcomb is a journalist based in the Pacific Northwest. He covers stadiums, sneakers, kits, infrastructure and more for publications including Popular Mechanics. Among his favorite interviews were meetings with Roger Federer in Switzerland, Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles and Tinker Hatfield in Portland.

Written by khirou

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