U.S. citizen gets prison for assisting China’s nuclear energy program

A U.S. nuclear engineer was sentenced to two years in prison for seeking U.S.-based assistance with nuclear energy development in China.


Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho, 66, was given the two-year prison sentence, a year of supervised release and a $20,000 fine for violating the Atomic Energy Act, CNN reported.
“Today, Allen Ho is being held accountable for enlisting U.S.-based nuclear experts to provide assistance in developing and producing special nuclear material in China for a Chinese state-owned nuclear power company,” acting Assistant Attorney General Dana Boente said in statement.

Ho, a Taiwan-born U.S. citizen, is also owner and president of Energy Technology International, headquartered at his home in Delaware.

According to Hong Kong media reports, Ho was to receive a 71-month sentence but the penalty was reduced after he agreed to cooperate with authorities and provide critical information on China’s nuclear power development.

Ho was indicted in April 2016 along with China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Co. He was charged with a conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government but later avoided the charge after pleading guilty in January.

In 1997, Ho began to recruit other engineers to assist with nuclear reactor development in China, without the permission of the U.S. Department of Energy.

His activities continued until 2016.

The U.S. Justice Department invoked the Atomic Energy Act, a Cold War-era bill designed to regulate the sharing of nuclear technology.

By Elizabeth Shim