OTTAWA - More than 800 nuclear scientists and engineers went on strike on Monday, warning of “dire consequences” for Canada’s nuclear industry after contract talks broke down with Candu Energy Inc. No nuclear power plants will be shut down as a result of the labor strife, union spokeswoman Michelle Duncan told AFP. But design work, refurbishing and troubleshooting at three reactors in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick provinces, as well as in Argentina, China and Romania “will be directly affected,” she said. The Society of Professional Engineers and Associates representing the striking workers said wages are the main issue in the labour dispute.Union president Peter White said in a statement the strike “will almost certainly guarantee the loss of technical talent” as senior engineers facing possible salary cuts demanded by the company opt instead for jobs abroad.“This will have dire consequences for Canada’s nuclear industry,” he said.Employees choosing to quit and move elsewhere, Duncan explained, “each have pieces of expertise and so it’s like breaking up Humpty Dumpty. Without them we won’t be able to put (the Canadian nuclear industry) back together again.”SNC-Lavalin, the country’s largest engineering company, bought Atomic Energy of Canada Limited’s Candu sales and servicing division last year for $15 million. The company was not immediately available for comment.