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Chinese nuclear company Pushed U.S. Experts for Nuclear Secrets – says FBI

computer-spy-nukeFBI Files Say China Firm Pushed U.S. Experts for Nuclear Secrets , Bloomberg,     davidvoreacos    damclaughAugust 25, 2016     

  • China General Nuclear Power charged with conspiracy by U.S.
  • CGN is partner in delayed British Hinkley plant under review
  • A state-owned Chinese power company under indictment in the U.S. pressed American nuclear consultants for years to hand over secret technologies and documents they weren’t supposed to disclose — and in some cases it got them, several of the consultants have told the FBI.

    Summaries of the consultants’ interviews with agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation were filed this month in a federal court where the company, China General Nuclear Power Corp., has been charged with conspiring to steal nuclear technology.

    The FBI documents surfaced shortly after the same company became a focus of concerns across the Atlantic: The U.K. last month delayed approval of the country’s biggest nuclear power station in a generation as questions swirled about whether China General Nuclear’s investment in the plant poses a security risk.

     The filings provide a window into the tactics of CGN, China’s biggest nuclear power operator. One of the consultants said CGN employees asked for off-limits operational manuals to nuclear equipment and software, according to the interview summaries. Another said he was asked to provide proprietary temperature settings for material used to contain nuclear fuel. After he refused, he wasn’t offered more consulting jobs, he told the FBI……..
  • China Warning

    While the U.S. court case doesn’t address the U.K. plant, the FBI interviews could add to concerns expressed by British officials like Nick Timothy, a close adviser to the new prime minister, Theresa May. Timothy warned last year that China’s involvement in nuclear projects there might allow it to “shut down Britain’s energy production at will.”

    The prime minister hasn’t said why she put the brakes on the 18 billion pound ($24 billion) Hinkley Point plant in southwest England, a project one-third owned by CGN and led by Electricite de France SA. In addition to the security concerns, the project has faced criticism over its price tag and the above-market electricity rates that U.K. taxpayers would have to pay. Electricite de France declined to comment……….

  • U.S. Indictments

    In the U.S., CGN was indicted along with Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho, an American nuclear engineer born in Taiwan who recruited the U.S. consultants for CGN. Ho and the company are accused in a federal court in Knoxville, Tennessee, of conspiring to help Beijing obtain restricted U.S. nuclear technology over two decades. Ho, 66, is also accused of acting as an unregistered agent of the Chinese government. He faces life in a U.S. prison in what prosecutors call an “extremely significant national security case.”

  • Ho has pleaded not guilty. His lawyers say that he was merely helping China’s civil nuclear power industry and that he had no intent to break the law or steal U.S. secrets.

    The case is unfolding as U.S. officials say they see Beijing’s hand in cyber-espionage, indicting five Chinese military officials in absentia in 2014 for allegedly stealing trade secrets from U.S. companies — including Westinghouse Electric Co., a unit of Japan’s Toshiba Corp. that designs nuclear power plants. Westinghouse, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, is the former employer of Ho and many of the experts he brought to China to consult for CGN……..

August 26, 2016 - Posted by | China, secrets,lies and civil liberties

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