Procurement: Pursuing Perilous Pakistani Plutonium Plant Paint


July 16, 2011: A Chinese executive (Xun Wang) who used to work for U.S. firm PPG, was recently arrested in the United States, and charged with illegally exporting special paint, used for nuclear reactors, to a Pakistani nuclear power plant. When Wang, who ran a Chinese subsidiary of PPG, applied for an export license five years ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce denied it (because Pakistan was building reactors to build a lot more nuclear weapons than it needed). Wang then ordered more of the paint, claiming it was for a Chinese nuclear plant. The Commerce Department approved that shipment, but Wang sent the paint from China to the Pakistani plant instead. Wang then used the same technique to obtain two more shipments of the special paint to Pakistan.

The U.S. considers this a very serious issue, as a lot of restricted technology is shipped to China, with the understanding that it will be used in China. But a lot of this stuff is believed to end up in places like Iran and North Korea.



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