Sky News US contributor Michael Ware says the news a US couple was caught selling nuclear technology secrets in a major FBI sting shows how ‘prized’ and ‘jealously-sought’ the nation’s nuclear secrets are.

“This is a former navy nuclear engineer who worked on the kind of subs that Australia is now in an agreement to get,” Mr Ware told Sky News Australia.

“And he left the navy, was working privately, and it turns out, he and his wife tried to sell the secrets behind the nuclear propulsion of the Virginia-class nuclear submarines.

“I think the outtake here for Australia is, this is the kind of terrain we’re now wading into, because we’re going to be given access to this technology.

“It shows you just how prized and just how jealously sought these secrets from the US military are on the global market.”

Mr Ware said the foreign power which the couple tried to sell the secrets to was probably a “friendly Western power”.

“Australia’s well aware of this but we’re going to have to be on top of our counter-intelligence and counter-espionage game when we come into possession of these secrets – just look at what happens here in the United States.”

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