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NEI leader talks AI and hydrogen

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Mar 13, 2024
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Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Nuclear Energy Institute CEO Maria Korsnick said the No. 1 thing she contemplates around AI is the total energy use from the nascent technology.

Why it matters: Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said at an Axios event last week that demand spikes from artificial intelligence are what keeps her up at night.

"Right now our view of AI is simply it's power-hungry," Korsnick told Axios this week. "How is nuclear going to use the benefits of AI? I don't think nuclear's that different from any other company, honestly. You're going to find stuff to do more efficiently.

"But the immediate effect of AI right now is: Who is going to come up with the power to power it? To create it?"

Korsnick also is "optimistic" the administration will eventually be flexible enough on the IRA hydrogen tax credit that existing nuclear plants can be used at qualifying H2 production sites.

"We've had a lot of conversations with John Podesta. I want to say that he appreciates the arguments. We'll have to obviously see where he lands.

"It's an election year, so it's hard to say. Election years, people are really trying to stake out their ground. So perhaps that might complicate things. But at the end of the day, you know, hey, we're looking for a fair shake."

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