Sandvik’s Nuclear Core: Meet the Team – Simon Sun

Meet the core of Sandvik’s nuclear division–our team. In our new Nuclear Core series, we’ll introduce the faces behind this team and hear their insights on the nuclear industry.

Can you tell us about yourself and your current role at Sandvik?

I joined Sandvik in 2014, and have since worked in the Nuclear Tube division in China. My responsibilities include managing sales in the region for Nuclear tubes and pipes.

Prior to joining Sandvik, I had over ten years of experience in the Nuclear industry – eight years with a French company and two years and half with a German company which does equipment manufacturing. Back in 1992, I majored in Mechanical Engineering and received my MBA in 2004 from Tsinghua University.

How do you stay updated on the nuclear industry?

Our customers in China are well-informed and have the latest global industry updates, even before the media covers the news. As such information is directly passed down to them from the government and relevant associations in China, this allows our customers to prep in advance before the media releases it. Often, our customers are more than happy to share relevant industry news with us. On a global level, colleagues from other offices too, share industry updates pertaining to the Europe and North America region.

What does nuclear safety culture mean in China and how is Sandvik advocating it?

The Chinese government sees nuclear safety as an "important national responsibility” and companies in the nuclear industry here have to undergo training yearly to stay up-to-date with new guidelines and regulations.

In September 2019, Chinese officials issued a white paper outlining their approach to nuclear safety which emphasised how the nuclear industry in China has always developed in line with the latest safety standards and maintained a good safety record. At Sandvik, nuclear safety is our utmost priority, and we have strict protocols to adhere to, from production to the operation of a nuclear power plant.

What is the nuclear industry like in China?

China originally had plans to increase the yearly production of nuclear plants. Due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear insident which occurred in 2011, the Chinese government took a step back and launched around ten to twenty power plants in the past five years – a number that was lower than previously expected.

Nonetheless, thanks to China's new nuclear technology, and regular testing of newly built reactors, the government plans to expand the production of plants to six to eight units annually in addition to the current existing installed capacity of 47 reactors, 48.75 GW.

As mentioned, safety is the local government’s top priority as they are concerned about the health and safety of citizens, and any nuclear incidents may also set back infrastructure plans. This is also why China has not up until today, approved any plans to build inland power plants.

What advice you would give to someone starting out in the nuclear industry?

The nuclear industry is quite a unique industry, and safety is always the number one priority. For individuals starting out in the nuclear industry, nuclear regulations should be etched in your mind. It is important to be cautious in carrying out every step and detail listed in the regulations and to follow them accordingly.

What are some frequently asked questions from customers?

Our customers are typically concerned about the quality of products. However they are confident that Sandvik is able to deliver. As a foreign company, customers also want to know if Sandvik’s range of products adhere to Chinese safety regulations and requirements.

Want to learn more about Sandvik’s nuclear products and services? Get a behind-the-scenes look at our nuclear manufacturing process.

Name:
Simon Sun
Title:
Regional Sales Director
Business Unit:
Energy, Nuclear Tube & Pipe
Location:
Shanghai, China