Chinese nuclear fuel engineer Li Guangchang under investigation amid the government’s targeting of high-risk areas to curb corruption

Li Guangchang, a prominent Chinese nuclear fuel engineer and member of the science and technology committee of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), has come under investigation for suspected serious violations of discipline and law.

In the latest move as part of Beijing’s extensive anti-corruption campaign, Li Guangchang, a prominent Chinese nuclear fuel engineer and member of the science and technology committee of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), has come under investigation for suspected serious violations of discipline and law. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), the ruling Communist Party’s top corruption watchdog, announced the investigation in a statement on its website.

Li Guangchang’s case adds to the current crackdown on corruption within “high-risk” sectors, including energy and state-owned enterprises, as Beijing continues its efforts to maintain transparency and integrity within the critical industries. The CCDI (Central Commission for Discipline Inspection) disclosed that Li is currently undergoing disciplinary inspection and supervision, but specific details regarding the alleged violations were not yet provided.

As a former director of the nuclear fuel division of CNNC, a state-owned enterprise overseeing both civilian and military nuclear programs in China, Li Guangchang played an important role in the innovation and development of China’s high-performance “CF series” fuel assemblies, as per publicly available information.

The investigation into Li emphasizes the commitment of the government of China to rooting out corruption within key sectors, especially those with implications for national security and technological advancement. The importance of the nuclear industry in China, with its dual civilian-military applications, adds another layer of significance to the ongoing anti-corruption efforts.

In a report in 2017, when Li was the chief of a key science and technology project under the CF program, he asserted that domestic development of nuclear fuel assemblies is important for recognizing the dream of a strong nuclear power country and also to export China-made nuclear power. Li Guangchang became a part of drafting the ‘China Nuclear Energy Development Report’, the following year as the deputy director of CNCC’s science and technology committee.

As per the website, CNNC is primarily involved in research and development, production, construction, and operation in the areas of nuclear power cycle, fuel cycle and applications, environmental protection, and also nuclear engineering.

Authorities have intensified scrutiny in sectors deemed crucial to China’s strategic interests, implementing stringent measures to curb corrupt practices. The President of China ordered the anti-corruption forces of China to focus on ‘high-risk area’ which also includes state-owned business, energy, and finance. The case of Li follows a series of crackdowns in China’s military-industrial sector. This has targeted the senior executives in aerospace-defense enterprises. In December, three senior aerospace-defense executives were asked to abandon their titles as members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the top national political advisory body.

As the investigation unfolds, the case of Li Guangchang will be closely monitored for its potential impact on the nuclear industry and the broader anti-corruption campaign in China. The government’s actions in high-stakes sectors send a clear message about its commitment to fostering clean governance and accountability.