MONTREAL, Nov. 24, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - SNC-Lavalin (TSX: SNC) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a pre-project contract from Argentina's Nucleoeléctrica Argentina SA (NA-SA) for the CANDU nuclear new build project at the Atucha site in the district of Zàrate, about 100 kilometres from Buenos Aires. If this project materializes, 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. "We are very excited about this contract," said Preston Swafford, Chief Nuclear Officer & Executive Vice-President, Nuclear, SNC-Lavalin. "It is a clear signal of recognition of SNC-Lavalin in the global nuclear market and recognizes international support for CANDU technology." This announcement comes in the wake of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to Argentina where he met with President Mauricio Macri. The two leaders discussed mutual collaboration between the two countries, among other things, 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. As well as supplying electricity, Embalse is also used to produce Cobalt-60, a radioisotope used in medical and industrial applications. SNC-Lavalin is currently engaged in the life extension of the Embalse reactor. "CANDU reactors are some of the top-performing reactors in the world," said Mr. Swafford. "We believe this track record of high performance will continue with this project in Argentina." 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. About SNC-LavalinFounded in 1911, SNC-Lavalin is one of the leading engineering and construction groups in the world and a major player in the ownership of infrastructure. From offices in over 50 countries, SNC-Lavalin's employees are proud to build what matters. Our teams provide engineering, procurement, construction, completions and commissioning services together with a range of sustaining capital services to clients in our four industry sectors: oil and gas, mining and metallurgy, infrastructure and power. SNC-Lavalin can also combine these services with its financing and operations and maintenance capabilities to provide complete end-to-end project solutions. www.snclavalin.comAbout CANDU® technologySNC-Lavalin is the steward of Canadian-designed CANDU® reactor technology. CANDU reactors are fuelled with natural uranium and use heavy water as a moderator. Internationally, they are an important component of low-carbon clean air energy programs on four continents with over 22,000 megawatts of installed capacity.