VIENNA (AFP) - The UN atomic agencys board approved Tuesday a global nuclear safety action plan but critics said it falls well short of lofty promises made in the wake of the Fukushima disaster six months ago. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)s 12-point programme encourages fresh assessments of the worlds 440 nuclear plants and emergency measures, as well as more voluntary peer review visits by foreign experts. Members of the 35-member IAEA board of governors approved it by consensus without a vote behind closed doors on Tuesday before the document goes before a gathering of all 151 members of the Vienna-based body next week. The March 11 accident at Japans Fukushima Daiichi plant after a massive earthquake and tsunami forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of people to escape leaking radiation. Engineers are still working to make safe the plant. The scale of the worst atomic disaster since Chernobyl in 1986 sparked fresh worries worldwide about nuclear safety, with Germany opting to switch off all reactors by 2022 and Italian voters saying no to a return to atomic energy. The IAEA convened a special ministerial conference on safety that saw agency chief Yukiya Amano declare that business as usual was impossible. But many of his proposals, such as peer reviews being mandatory and 10 percent of the planets plants being inspected in the next three years, were watered down, most notably because of US pressure, diplomats said. This action plan represents a considerable step backwards compared to the wishes of a large share of member states expressed ... in June, Switzerland said. Germany and France were also said to be unhappy, while others were disappointed there was no time frame for the implementation of the measures proposed. US ambassador Glyn Davies said countries should focus their efforts initially on completing national assessments and implementing the results of those assessments ... [and] utilize existing instruments and programmes.