A U.S. nuclear engineer and a Chinese state-owned nuclear power company have been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to facilitate nuclear material development and production efforts outside the U.S. without a permitÂ from the Energy Department.
The Justice Department said ThursdayÂ the two-count indictment unveiled Thursday at a districtÂ court in Tennessee is forÂ China General Nuclear Power Co. and Allen Ho, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in China and employed as a senior adviser at CGNPC.
Allen Ho, also known as Szuhsiung Ho, also runsÂ Delaware-basedÂ Energy Technology International.
CGNPC, Ho and his company are accused of conspiring with others to help the Chinese company make a special nuclear material without a DOE authorization required as part ofÂ aÂ U.S.-China civil nuclear cooperation pact.
“The federal government has regulations in place to oversee civil nuclear cooperation, and if those authorities are circumvented, this can result in significant damage to our national security,” saidÂ Michael Steinbach, executive assistant director of the FBI’sÂ national security branch.
In addition, theÂ parties allegedly sought technical assistance from U.S.-based nuclear experts regarding small modular reactor and advanced fuel assembly programs as well as fixed in-core detector and reactor-related computerÂ systems, DOJ noted.
Ho could face a life sentence in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 ifÂ found guilty.
The indictmentÂ comes less than a month after Chinese businessmanÂ Su BinÂ entered a guilty plea in a district court in California to charges that he was involved in a conspiracy to breachÂ computer systems atÂ Boeing and several other U.S. defense contractorsÂ to access military technical dataÂ and transmit itÂ to China.