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IAEA Nuclear Plan: 151-Nation Meeting Endorses Post-Fukushima Proposal

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U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu delivers a speech at the general conference of the IAEA, at the International Center in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Sept. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak) | AP

VIENNA -- Members of the 151-nation International Atomic Energy Agency have endorsed a post-Fukushima nuclear safety plan but the IAEA chief says it will only be as good as the will of individual countries to enact it.

"It is time for action," says IAEA head Yukiya Amano, asking nations for "sustained commitment and full involvement."

Before Thursday's endorsement, the plan was approved last week by the agency's policy making 35-nation board despite gripes by influential member nations that it was too timid.

Drawn up in response to Japan's March 11 reactor disaster, the plan outlines steps to be taken by states to pinpoint weaknesses and remedy them. But these measures can only be carried out "upon request" of the nation involved.

States are "strongly encouraged to voluntarily" open their nuclear facilities to outside checks of potential weak links.

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