FBI's 'evidence' against CGN adds pressure on UK government to scrap Hinkley Point

The FBI has uncovered evidence that China General Nuclear Power (CGN), had been engaged in a conspiracy to steal US nuclear secrets for almost two decades.

Both CGN and the firm's senior advisor Szuhsiung Ho had been charged with conspiring to help the Chinese government develop nuclear material in clear breach of US law. (See: Hinkely Point's Chinese backer faces industrial espionage charges in US) Ho had allegedly boasted that ''budget is no issue'' while developing his network of co-conspirators, and he had also been charged with acting unlawfully as a foreign agent.

According to Ho's legal team there was far less to the affair than met the eye. It claimed Ho was an innocent 66-year-old Chinese American known to most of his friends and neighbours as Allen Ho, who had been openly involved in commercial activity related to non-classified  information, who is now being hounded by overzealous prosecutors.

According lawyers, Ho could not possibly have known about the US Atomic Energy Act that he is alleged to have breached, as no one had faced charges under them in the 60-odd years they had been on the statute.

Meanwhile, the revelations added to fears about the future of the £18-billion Hinkley Point scheme and prime minister Theresa May has again been urged to scrap the deal.

May had already delayed a decision on the project.

Angus MacNeil, MP, chairman of the energy and climate change select committee, said while it was not clear whether UK would have any nuclear secrets China would want to steal, the US's accusation did raise questions about how honourable the company was.