What could go wrong? “U. S. nuclear component reaches Pakistan via China,” by Narayan Lakshman in The Hindu, January 19 (thanks to Lookmann):
Pakistan is circumventing matters of legality and geopolitical complexities in the procurement process for nuclear components.
This may well be the conclusion reached in the case of Qiang Hu, a Chinese national who has been charged in Massachusetts with “conspiracy for violating U.S. export controls by allegedly selling thousands of pressure transducers to unnamed customers through his position of sales manager at MKS Instruments Shanghai Ltd. in China”.
Among the list of nations that use pressure transducers to measure the gas pressure inside centrifuge cascades in nuclear plants is Pakistan. The list reportedly includes Iran and possibly North Korea, but Pakistan, according to experts at the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, is among those nations that “use a considerable quantity of the equipment in their centrifuge plants and have regularly sought them through surreptitious means as used in this alleged scheme”.
That Islamabad was a likely final customer of Mr. Hu’s deceptions cannot be ruled out. According to a report published by ISIS on this case, “Hu and his co-conspirators allegedly arranged their unlawful export to unauthorised Chinese end-users or to other, unnamed country end-users”.
The report’s authors, David Albright and Andrea Stricker, told The Hindu that while recent case studies or evidence of Pakistani procurements of pressure transducers may not be available, Pakistan is “likely procuring them, assuming they don’t have enough in their centrifuge plants or haven’t made them themselves”….