SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a pre-project contract from Nucleoeléctrica Argentina for the CANDU nuclear new build project at the Atucha site, which is about 100 km from Buenos Aires. If this project materialises, it would be the first Candu new build since Cernavoda Unit 2 came on line in 2007.
The six-month contract will allow SNC-Lavalin to engage with suppliers for long-lead equipment, conduct preliminary design work, deliver safety analysis, offer licensing support and provide technical assistance from Canada.
This announcement follows talks between Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri. The talks included collaboration between the two countries as Argentina’s economy expands and energy demand increases.
Argentina already owns and operates a Candu reactor at Embalse, about 650 km northwest of Buenos Aires. Construction of this reactor began in 1976 and it went into commercial operation in 1984.
Candu reactors are fuel-flexible, capable of using natural uranium for fuel, as in Argentina, or advanced fuels like recycled uranium and thorium, as is being developed for use in countries such as China.