Microsoft has hired Erin Henderson as the director of nuclear development acceleration.

DCD exclusively reported in September that the company was recruiting to "implement a global small modular reactor and microreactor" strategy to power data centers.

The Sequoyah Nuclear Plant – Tennessee Valley Authority

Prior to joining Microsoft, Henderson spent nearly 13 years at utility the Tennessee Valley Authority, most recently as the general manager of transmission projects.

There, she also worked as a performance improvement manager at the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant (2,332MW) and as site licensing manager and director of plant support at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant (2,440MW).

"I am very excited to share that I've joined Microsoft in a new role," Henderson said on LinkedIn.

"Microsoft is leading the way in advocating for a clean and sustainable energy future. I am looking forward to contributing to the data center R&D team's success and building relationships with my new colleagues!"

Microsoft has procured Clean Energy Credits (CECs) from Canadian energy firm Ontario Power Generation (OPG), and signed a 24/7 nuclear power deal with Constellation for its Boydton data center.

Late last year, it revealed that it was working with Terra Praxis to train a large language model to help with the small modular reactor regulatory process.

Nuclear power was a major part of last year's COP28, with nations pledging to triple power by 2050. But the SMR industry faced turmoil earlier in 2023 after market leader NuScale saw a major project canceled, and has faced criticism over the viability of a second development.