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Nuke plant reborn as 'green' data center

Server-plutonium swap

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1&1 Internet - one of the world's largest web hosts - will build its next European data center inside an abandoned nuclear fuel facility.

Built in the late 1980s, Hanau, Germany's 'New MOX' plant was supposed to process fuel for nuclear reactors, making mixed oxide rods from enriched Uranium and Plutonium. But thanks to local protests, it was never turned on, and in 1995, it was abandoned by owner Siemens AG. Then, more than a decade later, after it escaped from nuclear control legislation, 1&1 came calling.

By 2009, the company will open a 10,000 square meter facility capable of housing up to 100,000 servers. And it would like you to know that the center will only use electricity from renewable energy sources.

"It is a very pleasing side-effect that a formerly contentious nuclear plant is now being transformed into a green data centre," reads a canned statement from CEO Oliver Mauss. He also promises energy-saving coolers that chill server iron with the help from the outside air.

1&1 says the center will primarily host old school dedicated server services. But it couldn't help but add that some servers will be cloudy. ®

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