US nuclear engineer sentenced to 2 years for helping China

Friday, September 1, 2017, Vol. 41, No. 35

KNOXVILLE (AP) — A Taiwan-born U.S. nuclear engineer who pleaded guilty to helping China build reactors using U.S. technology has been sentenced in Tennessee to two years in prison.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan sentenced 67-year-old Szuhsiung "Allen" Ho on Thursday. Varlan said Ho's case wasn't as serious as offenses involving weapons of mass destruction described in the law that he pleaded guilty under.

Varlan also ordered a year of supervised release and a fine of $20,000.

Ho's lawyers have said he wasn't trying to help China produce nuclear weapons. The information he bought for China related to production of nuclear energy.

Prosecutors contend even if Ho wasn't trying to help China strengthen its military nuclear weapon program, China can't be trusted to act responsibly.