Silicon Graphics (SGI) has admitted shipping four supercomputers to a Russian base that develops nuclear weapons, but insists it thought they would be used to research environmental pollution.
Ed McCracken, chief executive of SGI, admitted the error this week as the US Attorney?s office in San Jose began an inquiry. It will look into the circumstances that led to the company selling $650,000 of supercomputers to the Chelyabinsk 70 weapons laboratory.
The deal was uncovered last month when the head of Russia?s Ministry of Atomic Energy revealed supercomputers had been bought from an undisclosed source, to model nuclear explosions. US export regulations forbidding the sale of equipment for such a purpose came into effect last September.
McCracken insisted SGI was not aware of the true purpose of Chelyabinsk 70. ?We should have dug deeper and asked more questions into what the facility was,? he said.
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