Business News Report Technology
July 11, 2023

Oklo, Sam Altman-backed Advanced Fission Tech Firm, Set to Go Public: Addressing AI’s Environmental Impact?

Oklo, an advanced fission technology and nuclear fuel recycling company backed by OpenAI’s Sam Altman, is set to go public via Altman’s special purpose acquisition company, AltC Acquisition Corp.

Both companies announced today that they have entered a definitive business combination agreement. The transaction values Oklo at a pre-money equity value of $850 million. Upon closing of the transaction, the merged entity will operate under the name Oklo and is expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol “OKLO.”

The transaction is expected to provide up to $500 million of gross capital with net proceeds going to accelerate Oklo’s business plan and fund the first deployment of the Aurora powerhouse. Using its advanced fuel recycling technology, the company aims to convert used fuel into clean energy.

AltC was founded in July 2021 through the joint efforts of Sam Altman and Churchill Capital. This partnership aimed to combine  Altman’s tech expertise and extensive industry connections with Churchill Capital’s proficiency in public markets. The ultimate goal was to offer public investors an enticing opportunity to access a compelling “hard tech” venture.

Altman serves as CEO of AltC, the SPAC, and has served as Chairman of Oklo since 2015. Commenting on today’s news, Altman tweeted: “Abundant energy is important to a great future and there are only a few technologies that can deliver it safely, cost-effectively, at scale, and without burning carbon.”

In a press statement, Altman revealed that Oklo has a site and fuel secured for its first plant, which it expects to be online in 2026 or 2027. The company will run on an owner-operator model with plans to sell power directly to customers under long-term contracts, providing recurring revenue.

Balancing AI and Sustainability

The relationship between AI and clean, reliable, and affordable energy is multifaceted. Through data analysis and intelligent decision-making, AI can potentially optimize various energy systems, integrate renewable energy sources, boost energy management and efficiency, and optimize energy storage and grid management. It can also provide valuable insights to policymakers for designing and implementing more sustainable energy systems.  

On the other hand, it’s no secret that the resource-intensive nature of training AI models, particularly deep learning models that process vast datasets through multiple iterations, demands substantial computational resources.

AI applications commonly rely on cloud computing platforms for training and inference, necessitating massive data centers that consume considerable energy for powering and cooling the hardware infrastructure. The energy efficiency of these data centers varies based on design, cooling mechanisms, and energy sourcing. 

Leading cloud providers like Google, Amazon Web Services, and Microsoft have already started incorporating renewable energy sources to minimize the carbon footprint associated with their operations.

With Altman at the helm, can Oklo’s advancements potentially mitigate or counterbalance the environmental impact of AI, or will OpenAI eventually develop AI systems to integrate renewable energy? Only time will tell.

Disclaimer

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About The Author

Cindy is a journalist at Metaverse Post, covering topics related to web3, NFT, metaverse and AI, with a focus on interviews with Web3 industry players. She has spoken to over 30 C-level execs and counting, bringing their valuable insights to readers. Originally from Singapore, Cindy is now based in Tbilisi, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications & Media Studies from the University of South Australia and has a decade of experience in journalism and writing. Get in touch with her via [email protected] with press pitches, announcements and interview opportunities.

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Cindy Tan
Cindy Tan

Cindy is a journalist at Metaverse Post, covering topics related to web3, NFT, metaverse and AI, with a focus on interviews with Web3 industry players. She has spoken to over 30 C-level execs and counting, bringing their valuable insights to readers. Originally from Singapore, Cindy is now based in Tbilisi, Georgia. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications & Media Studies from the University of South Australia and has a decade of experience in journalism and writing. Get in touch with her via [email protected] with press pitches, announcements and interview opportunities.

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