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Nuclear-Powered Crypto Plant Planned for PA Next Year. What Could Go Wrong?

Stock image of nuclear plant with bitcoin logo
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Cryptocurrency mining is going nuclear in the home of America's first capital. Data Center Dynamics today reported that Talen Energy plans to establish a nuclear-powered mining operation and data center that will have up to 300MW of on-site power when it's finished, sometime after 2Q 2022.

The mining operation and data center will be built next to the company's Susquehanna Steam Electric Station in Pennsylvania, according to the report, and Talen Energy could eventually triple its capacity to 1GW of on-site power.

The facility's power capacity would grow in stages. It's expected to have 164MW of capacity "supported by dual 1+GW nuclear units and two independent substations" when the first phase of development is complete, Data Center Dynamics reported.

This isn't the first time nuclear-powered crypto mining has been proposed. Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy considered mining with nuclear power in February, and in June, the mayor of Miami pushed for the city's nuclear energy to go toward mining.

Nor is this the first attempt to make crypto mining more environmentally friendly. El Salvador is looking to establish a volcano-powered mining operation, for example, and a hydroelectric plant in New York has started to mine Bitcoin to up its profits.

All of these efforts demonstrate the possibilities available to mining operations looking to mitigate the environmental impact of their businesses. Of course, that's assuming nothing goes wrong at said nuclear facility. We've got plans for nuclear, volcano, hydroelectric power and, hey, you can even join in the renewable energy mining craze with a solar-powered Raspberry Pi project.

  • hotaru.hino
    As long as they use something more recent than a Gen 2 design, I can get by this.
    Reply
  • twnznznz
    In the event this crypto-co goes broke, how do you ensure that the cost of cleaning the plant up isn't borne by the taxpayer?
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    What's the hash-rate of an RBMK reactor?
    Reply
  • twnznznz
    Jake Hall said:
    What's the hash-rate of an RBMK reactor?

    3.6 terahashes/sec. Not great, but not terrible.
    Reply
  • Jake Hall
    twnznznz said:
    3.6 terahashes/sec. Not great, but not terrible.
    I opened the door for you on that one LOL
    Reply
  • vern72
    Pennsylvania? Out of all states to try this? I hope they don't put it on another island!
    Reply
  • Sippincider
    twnznznz said:
    In the event this crypto-co goes broke, how do you ensure that the cost of cleaning the plant up isn't borne by the taxpayer?

    Where and how do you store the spent fuel, with a cost that isn’t borne by the taxpayer?
    Reply
  • Mandark
    This should never be allowed
    Reply
  • ex_bubblehead
    Obviously they haven't even looked at what is entailed in actually building a nuclear power station. Even if everything went through perfectly it would be no less than 15-20 years to build it. And they'll have to deal with spent cores, worn out steam generators and such every 2 years or so. I seriously doubt they can mine enough to pay for this. Reality is that this won't happen at all.
    Reply
  • King_V
    Ok, this is where the world has just buried the needle on my "WTF??!" meter.
    Reply