Nuke Site Converted Into Data Center

1&1 Internet announced today that it is building a 107,000 square foot data center atop a former nuclear fuel facility in Hanau, Germany.

The interior of 1&1 Internet's data center in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The interior of the 1&1 Internet data center in Karslruhe, Germany. The company is building a new data center atop a former nuclear fuel facility in Hanau.

1&1 Internet announced today that it is building a 107,000 square foot data center atop a former nuclear fuel facility in Hanau, Germany. 1&1 Internet, one of the largest web hosting companies in the world, says it plans to fill the facility with more than 100,000 web servers. The data center, which will run entirely on renewable energy, is scheduled to open in late 2009.

The site in Hanau was built in the late 1980s to produce mixed oxide (MOX) rods made from enriched uranium and plutonium. The Siemens AG facility, which didn't include a nuclear reactor but handled spent nuclear fuel, became the focus of protests and was closed in 1995. Two years ago, the premises were released from nuclear control legislation, clearing the way for commercial use.

“The new data centre in Hanau will further optimise the operational efficiency of our Internet services,” said Oliver Mauss, CEO of 1&1 Internet. "Of course, it is a very pleasing side-effect that a formerly contentious nuclear plant is now being transformed into a green data centre."

1&1 said that in addition to using renewable power sources, the new Hanau facility will save energy by cooling the data center with outside air, a process known as air-side economization.

“We pay much attention to saving energy – after all, the power bill is one of the largest parts of our operational expenses for such data centres," said Mauss. "The buildings and the surrounding area provide sufficient space to install energy-saving coolers that use the outside temperature for cooling and thus significantly reduce power consumption. 1&1 also uses low-energy components within all its servers."

1&1 Internet has 7.7 million customers worldwide and manages over 10 million domain names.  It operates a U.S. data center in Lenexa, Kansas.

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