SALT LAKE CITY — Scientists and engineers from 37 countries are gathering at a Salt Lake City conference aimed at discussing how to extend the life of nuclear power plants worldwide.

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Officials say the need to keep reactors operating safely was underscored by the tsunami that devastated a nuclear power plant in Japan last year.

The International Atomic Energy Agency says the Utah conference is bringing together some of the best minds in nuclear plant safety.

Nearly 300 were registered for the start Monday of the four-day conference.

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter was on hand to invite conference-goers to a tour Friday of the Idaho National Laboratory.

Otter says the lab is working to make new generations of reactors safer to operate.