Saturday, October 16, 2021

Bitcoin miners partnering with struggling nuclear power plants amid criticism over environmental impact

As The Wall Street Journal reports, bitcoin miners are facing increasing scrutiny over the environmental impact of the process, battling carbon-free nuclear plants in an attempt to address the issues facing the industry.

Miners hope the partnership will create more stable and environmentally friendly electricity, while also benefiting nuclear plants that face stiff competition from cheaper power sources and need new customers.

The “mining” of virtual currency refers to the competitive process of mathematical calculation through which virtual currency is rewarded.

Unlike mining operations for minerals such as gold and iron, bitcoin mining does not involve hawking equipment. Instead, bitcoin miners use computer warehouses to verify transactions, update and solve computational problems to maintain the bitcoin blockchain. In effect, miners keep the bitcoin blockchain updated and, in return, are compensated with new blocks of bitcoin.

However, critics have complained that bitcoin mining consumes a high level of electricity, which creates problems for both companies and governments to curb their own carbon footprints.

Back in May, Tesla chief executive Elon Musk expressed concern over bitcoin mining, writing on Twitter that the process comes at a “major cost to the environment,” causing the bitcoin price to plummet.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is also continuing its crackdown on bitcoin, with the People’s Bank of China last week outlawing all cryptocurrency-related transactions.

One company, Talen Energy Corp., has entered into a joint venture with bitcoin mining company Terawolf Inc., in an effort to address environmental issues, the WSJ reported.

The company has begun land development for a mining facility next to its Pennsylvania nuclear plant – expected to be the size of four football fields.

Meanwhile, Standard Power Mining Center in Ohio will begin receiving electricity from nuclear generator Energy Harbor Corp. in December.

“We are building on demand around the existing nuclear plant,” said Alex Hernandez, president of Talen Energy, a subsidiary jointly developing the mining project near the Susquehanna Steam Electric Station. told the Wall Street Journal.

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And it’s not just cryptocurrency miners who are looking for nuclear companies. In July, startup Oklo Inc. announced a 20-year commercial partnership with Compass Mining, and said it plans to build an “advanced fission powerhouse” that can produce up to 20 years of reliable electricity that can replace used nuclear fuel. can walk on.

The company’s co-founder and CEO, Jacob DeWitt, told the WSJ that he has received inquiries from other bitcoin miners interested in the company’s 1.5-MW project using small modular reactors, but noted that federal approval is yet to come. is also required, which is unlikely to happen until 2023-2025.

While no fixed electricity price has yet been established between Compass Mining and Oklo, Compass CEO Whit Gibbs told the WSJ that he is confident the companies will agree on a price that allows profitable cryptocurrency mining.

But despite the emergence of new partnerships between mining companies and struggling nuclear plants, and with more expected in the future, Bill Dugan, director of energy consulting firm Customized Energy Solutions, says many nuclear plants “will not be saved.”

While nuclear plants provide a zero-emissions clean energy source, generating electricity through fission, they face stiff competition from the likes of natural gas production, as well as wind and solar power as globally “cleaner” The demand for electricity increases.

Jessica Mao and Jennifer Zeng contributed to this report.

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Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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