Chinese paid TVA manager for nuclear technology info

A former senior TVA manager has admitted he was paid by the Chinese government for nuclear technological information while working for the utility, court records unsealed Friday show.

From the News Sentinel report:

Ching Ning Guey has struck a deal to plead guilty to a charge of development of special nuclear material outside the U.S. The case, kept under seal for more than a year, is tied to an indictment announced earlier this month against a Chinese nuclear engineer and a Chinese-owned nuclear power plant alleging nuclear espionage.

Guey worked as a senior manager for the probabilistic risk assessment division of the Tennessee Valley Authority from 2010 to 2014. According to a plea agreement filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Atchley, Guey had access through his job to tightly-controlled information about the development and production of special nuclear material.

“The defendant received warnings and guidance on the restrictions and controls that pertain to the prohibitions against the distribution and sharing of this information with restricted countries,” Atchley wrote.

But in November 2013, Guey was invited to travel to China at the request of a nuclear power company owned by the People’s Republic of China. The trip was financed by the Chinese government, and Guey was paid by the Chinese government for three key Electric Power Research Institute reports that China was barred from accessing, Atchley wrote. All three reports provided key information about light-water and heavy-water nuclear reactors and are regulated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration Office of Nonproliferation and International Security.

Guey, who was born in Taiwan but became a naturalized citizen in 1990, was recruited as far back as 2004 to provide the Chinese government with nuclear information, court records show. That relationship came as a result of Guey’s meeting in the early 1990s with Chinese nuclear engineer Szuhsiung “Allen” Ho at a Chinese American Nuclear Technology Association event.C