Nuclear power startup Oklo is looking to hire a director of data center solutions.

The company, which is backed by OpenAI's Sam Altman, is seeking a staffer to create a team that would "build a pipeline of hyperscale, colocation, and enterprise customers."

oklo small modular nuclear reactor.png
– Oklo | Gensler

In the job listing, which has not been previously reported, the company said: "Oklo’s advanced fission power plants offer data centers a path to energy independence - one that avoids bottlenecks in the grid and competition for energy with local communities. Our 24/7 clean energy solution can provide the power to unlock the benefits of AI and cloud computing."

Candidates are expected to have an extensive knowledge of data center power planning, site selection, design, procurement, development, and operations, as well as experience of negotiating PPAs with large energy customers.

Oklo's small fast fission reactors are capable of producing up to 15MW of power and can operate for 10 years or longer before refueling. The company is in the midst of a reverse merger with SPAC AltC Acquisition, which is expected to take the company public in July.

Valuing the business at $850 million, it would bring $500m in funding to the company. But Oklo suffered a setback late last year when the US Air Force rescinded a $100m award for one of its microreactors. It also has yet to receive approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its designs.

This month, the company successfully completed the second phase of a test with the Argonne National Laboratory that is key to understanding the thermal-hydraulic behavior of its reactors.

Oklo has seen data centers as a potential market for some time, but the hire suggests that it is now ready to start aggressively courting customers.

The data center industry, already struggling to find power before the AI boom, is evaluating small modular reactors (SMRs) and microreactors as a potential panacea for the power crunch. But regulatory, safety, NIMBY, and cost concerns remain.

Earlier this year, DCD exclusively reported that hyperscaler Microsoft had hired Archie Manoharan as director of nuclear technologies and Erin Henderson as head of nuclear development acceleration as it ramped up its interest in SMRs).

Last week, DCD exclusively reported that Google was hiring for an 'AI/ML carbon reduction and net zero lead' to head a new data center climate strategy in the face of dramatically growing power needs.

Earlier this month, Amazon spent $650m to buy a data center next to a nuclear power plant.