PRESENT DANGER CHINA - Jul 31, 2020 -
Originally published in AND Magazine | by Charles “Sam” Faddis | July 31, 2020
The China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) is a state-owned firm and is part of the Chinese government. It is controlled by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). It has been implicated in the theft of highly sensitive American technology and the provision of that technology to the Chinese Communist Party. In fact, it appears that the General Nuclear Power Corporation was created for the sole purpose of stealing American nuclear secrets.
In 2017 Szuhsiung Ho, a consultant employed by CGN was charged by the U.S. Department of Justice with “assisting CGN in procuring U.S.-based nuclear engineers to assist with designing and manufacturing certain components for nuclear reactors.” Ho ultimately pled guilty, paid a fine of $20,000, and was sentenced to two years in prison.
CGN was formed in 2014. One of its cornerstone investors was the private equity firm BHR Partners, headed up by Vice-President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. The company put $10 million into the initial public offering for CGN. BHR Partners was a joint venture between Rosemont Seneca Partners, an investment fund founded by Hunter Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry’s stepson in 2009, and the state-owned Bank of China.
This billion-dollar fund came into existence less than two weeks after Hunter Biden accompanied his father on a state visit to Beijing. The money to create the fund came from the Chinese government.
Ho was responsible for recruiting six nuclear engineers to provide information to CGN. The information was sometimes relayed through Ho and sometimes directly to CGN during trips there. Ho additionally operated a front company called Energy Technology International in Delaware. The engineers providing intelligence to Beijing were “hired” by CGN through this company. At least one of the engineers was an employee of the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The six engineers provided information on nuclear fuel materials including the plutonium used in MOX fuel, the U-233 used in the thorium fuel cycle, and conventional U-235 enriched nuclear fuel. The intelligence appears to have been used by the Chinese to advance their own work on new reactor types including the new ACPR small modular reactor.
China is competing – head to head – with American companies like Westinghouse for new nuclear reactor deals abroad. The information stolen from the United States may well provide China the necessary competitive advantage to land as many as thirty new reactor construction contracts. There have also been indications that some of the information stolen may pertain to the kinds of reactors used on American nuclear submarines. Even after the DOJ action and Ho’s conviction, Biden and BHR did not divest from CGN.