Engineer pleads guilty in illegal aid to China for reactors

A Chinese-born U.S. nuclear engineer has pleaded guilty to helping a state-controlled Chinese nuclear energy company build reactors in that country using U.S. technology.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Friday that 66-year-old Szuhsiung "Allen" Ho pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally bypass U.S. regulations on production of nuclear materials outside the United States.

Ho had dual citizenship in China, where he was employed with the China General Nuclear Power Company, and the U.S., where he was owner and president of Delaware-based Energy Technology International.

Ho faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced May 17 in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

Court documents say Ho consulted with the Department of Energy and was told his work fell outside the scope of regulation.