Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Westinghouse's Data Stolen despite Big Deal with China

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Westinghouse's Data Stolen despite Big Deal with China

Article excerpt

Just as Westinghouse Electric Co. and a Chinese government-owned nuclear company were hashing out the details of a major technology transfer that would bring new nuclear reactors to the growing Asian country, the Chinese government was stealing information about those reactors and Westinghouse's strategy for the negotiations, according to an indictment filed Monday in U.S. District Court of Western Pennsylvania.

Unlike the other companies targeted by five Chinese military hackers identified by the Department of Justice on Monday, Westinghouse had signed an agreement to voluntarily share all of the technology behind its new generation AP1000 reactor with its Chinese partners.

The first batch of records, about 75,000 documents, was transferred in 2010. Westinghouse and the State Nuclear Power Technology Corp. are building four AP1000 reactors in China, a deal estimated to yield billions of dollars for Westinghouse and its contractors.

In 2010, as Westinghouse and China began talking about building more plants, the hackers intercepted internal discussions between Westinghouse's former CEO Aris Candris and about a half dozen other top-level decision makers, the indictment claimed. The correspondence dealt with strategy for negotiating a deal and concerns that the Chinese might one day become a competitor to Westinghouse in nuclear technology.

Over the next two years, the indictment said, Westinghouse had at least 1.4 gigabytes of information stolen from its computers. That's roughly equivalent to 700,000 pages of e-mails and attachments.

Westinghouse spokeswoman Sheila Holt said the company wasn't expecting the indictment and couldn't comment on it before thoroughly reviewing it.

China's stated nuclear ambition is to cut its teeth on AP1000 reactors; use that experience and technology to advance its own next- generation pressurized water reactor; bring all manufacturing capacity in-house; and then become a global nuclear supplier. …

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