China Owns Database of American Nuclear Scientists

A nuclear power plant cooling tower.

Chinese company Zhenhua has amassed a vast database of millions of people worldwide who are in key positions, including American nuclear scientists. (Image: distelAPPArath via Pixabay)

It was recently reported that the Chinese company Zhenhua has amassed a vast database of millions of people worldwide who are in key positions. One of the leaked databases shows profiles of over 16,000 military personnel from the U.S., Australia, Britain, and South Korea. Of special concern is the fact that some of the American profiles are of nuclear scientists.

Chinese database

The leaked database is said to contain information on 2.4 million people. The surprising fact is that the database is not heavily composed of information stolen from people or gained through covert means. Instead, most of the information is publicly available. “Aggregation of open source data on a grand scale is viewed as the main value of the Zhenhua database, as it can pull in family and professional connections, use location tracking from social media, and potentially be combined with other databases stolen by Beijing’s army of cyber hackers,” according to Financial Review.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

The military profiles are largely focused on technical experts who have left their military commitments and are now engaged in civilian life. Most of the information about such experts is accessed from their LinkedIn profiles that mention their employment history. For instance, one person from the leaked database is noted to have worked for five years in a nuclear lab that exclusively works for the United States Navy. The database has recorded from his LinkedIn profile that the person has performed applied research on materials used in nuclear power reactors.

Neil James, executive director of the Australian Defence Association, pointed out that social media posts done by individuals are usually not seen as a problem by the military. However, when such open information is aggregated on a large scale, issues arise. He notes that such aggregation can turn what is unclassified data into classified data. Michael Shoebridge, a defense expert at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, warned that such huge data sets have the potential to significantly boost Beijing’s espionage efforts abroad. Open-source data, when combined with unique classified data sets, can be extremely valuable, something that Shoebridge believes many countries tend to overlook.

A database of open-source data.
Open-source data, when combined with unique classified data sets, can be extremely valuable. (Image: via Pixabay)

The database contains private info about hundreds of important people from India, a country with which China has escalated military aggression in recent times. Most of these people have been accused of activities like corruption, smuggling gold, arms, or wildlife, financial crimes, and terrorism. Beijing is clearly looking at using these people in specific operations by leveraging the information they have against them. Access to the database was provided by Professor Chris Balding, an American academician who worked in China until 2018 and left the country due to concerns over his physical safety.

Chinese nuclear capacity

One of the latest reports by Global Data, a UK-based analytics firm, shows that China is on a path to overtaking the U.S. in nuclear power capacity by 2026. Between 2020 and 2030, the report expects the addition of 160 GW of nuclear capacity globally, with more than 50 percent being accounted for by China. During this decade, 76 GW of nuclear capacity will be retired.

A soyuz rocket.
China is on a path to overtaking the U.S. in nuclear power capacity by 2026. (Image: via Pixabay)

U.S. Navy admiral Charles Richard, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, who is in charge of America’s nuclear arsenal, recently expressed concerns at the steady development of China’s military prowess. He warned that one of China’s priorities is to boost its nuclear stockpile. Admiral Richard noted that China now has the ability to threaten American shores from a ballistic missile submarine. A Pentagon report estimates China’s current nuclear warheads at just above 200.

Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our email list

Recommended Stories

Atrail through the woods in the fall.

As Our Planet Gets Greener, Plants Are Slowing Global Warming

An international team of researchers says findings reveal a daunting outlook for our changing climate. ...

The black plague.

The Great Plague Was a Prelude to a New Dynasty

A disease not only plays a role in the fate of an individual, but it ...

ITGC researchers retrieve the robotic submarine Icefin.

First-Ever Images at Foundation of Notorious Antarctic Glacier

During an unprecedented scientific campaign on an Antarctic glacier notorious for contributions to sea level, ...

The Thwaites Glacier.

Understanding How Quickly Massive Antarctic Glaciers Could Collapse

The collapse of the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica could significantly affect global sea levels. ...

Ballerina Aesha Ash.

The African-American Ballerina Bringing Ballet to the Streets of New York

Aesha Ash is a ballerina from the U.S. For most of her career, she was ...

A surveillance camera.

What Happens When a Communist Surveillance System Is Exported?

The Chinese government has installed over 200 million cameras throughout the country, making it the ...

Facial recognition equipment.

China Wants to Strengthen Xinjiang Surveillance Through World Bank Money

An exclusive scoop by the news website Axios claims that the Chinese government sought to ...

A reusable water bottle.

6 Eco-Friendly Ideas to Implement in 2020

As our needs grow and resources become more scarce, we need to pay attention to ...

A large container of laundry detergent.

Just Gone Viral: An Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Recipe

Laundry detergents often contain chemicals that can be harmful to you and your family. Why ...

Send this to a friend