U.S. nuclear engineer pleads guilty to assisting Chinese nuclear program
KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 7 (UPI) — A nuclear engineer pleaded guilty to violating the Atomic Energy Act by using United States information to improve China’s nuclear program.
Szuhsiung Ho, also known as Allen Ho, 66, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully engage or participate in the production or development of special nuclear material outside the United States, without the required authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Ho and his defense team and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Atchley Jr. agreed to a deal that would allow him to plead guilty to a lesser charge in exchange for providing he U.S. government with information on China’s nuclear program, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported.
Ho and his energy firm, Energy Technology International, were indicted in April 2016 for attempting to lure U.S.-based experts from the civil nuclear industry to assist China’s largest nuclear power company, China General Nuclear Power Company.
Case records showed Ho gathered engineers from 1997 to April 2016 to help CGNPC design and manufacture nuclear reactors more quickly.
The Tennessee Valley Authority Office of the Inspector General began the investigation after expressing concerns about one of its senior executives, engineer Ching Huey, to the FBI.