Source: WVLT-TV Channel 8 | January 6, 2017
Szuhsiung Ho, aka Allen Ho, a naturalized U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully engage or participate in the production or development of special nuclear material outside the U.S. without required authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy. This violated the Atomic Energy Act.
In April 2016, a federal grand jury issued a two-count indictment against Ho, China General Nuclear Power Company (CGNPC) and Energy Technology International (ETI). Ho was a nuclear engineer exmployed as a consultant by CGNPC and was the owner of ETI at the time of the indictment.
CGNPC specialized in the development and manufacturing of nuclear reactors and was controlled by China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
Documents filed in the case indicate that the investigation began in 1997 and continued through April 2016. These documents alleged that Ho conspired with others to participate in the development and production of special nuclear material in China without specific authorization to do so from the U.S. Secretary of Energy, which is required by law.
Ho helped CGNPC is obtaining U.S.-based nuclear engineers to help the company and its subsidiaries with designing and manufacturing specific parts for nuclear reactors more quickly and reducing time and costs of research and development for the technology. Documents detailed that Ho sought technical assistance related to CGNPC’s Small Modular Reactor Program; CGNPC’s Advanced Fuel Assembly Program; CGNPC’s Fixed In-Core Detector System; and verification and validation of nuclear reactor-related computer codes.
Ho also identified, recruited and executed contracts with U.S.-based experts from the civil nuclear industry who gave CGNPC instruction and assistance related to the development and production of special nuclear material for CGNPC in China. Ho, along with CGNPC, also facilitated the travel to China and payments to the U.S.-based experts in exchange for their assistance.
Ho’s sentencing was set for May 17,2017, at 11 a.m., in U.S. District Court in Knoxville. Ho faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Ho’s case was investigated by the FBI, Tennessee Valley Authority-Office of the Inspector General, DOE-National Nuclear Security Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, along with assistance provided by other agencies.