Szuhsiung Ho, aka Allen Ho, 66, a naturalized U.S. citizen, admitted to helping China design and manufacture components for nuclear reactors more quickly by reducing the time and financial costs of research and development of nuclear technology, officials said Friday.
Ho plead guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully engage or participate in the production or development of special nuclear material outside the U.S., without the required authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy in violation of the Atomic Energy Act.
Ho is scheduled to be Sentenced in May in federal court. He is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, officials said.
In April 2016, a federal grand jury issued a two-count indictment against Ho; China General Nuclear Power Company or CGNPC, the largest nuclear power company in China, and Energy Technology International, a Delaware corporation.
At the time of the indictment Ho was a nuclear engineer, employed as a consultant by CGNPC and was also the owner of Technology International. CGNPC specialized in the development and manufacture of nuclear reactors and was controlled by China’s State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission.
According to documents filed in the case, beginning in 1997 and continuing through April 2016, Ho conspired with others to engage or participate in the development or production of special nuclear material in China, without specific authorization to do so from the U.S. Secretary of Energy, as required by law.
Ho assisted CGNPC in procuring U.S.-based nuclear engineers to assist CGNPC and its subsidiaries with designing and manufacturing certain components for nuclear reactors more quickly by reducing the time and financial costs of research and development of nuclear technology.
In particular, 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.
Under the direction of CGNPC, Ho also identified, recruited, and executed contracts with U.S.-based experts from the civil nuclear industry who provided technical assistance related to the development and production of special nuclear material for CGNPC in China, according to officials.
Ho and CGNPC also facilitated the travel to China and payments to the U.S.-based experts in exchange for their services.