TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese financial institutions, including the country's top three banks, are considering providing more than 1 trillion yen ($12.3 billion) in emergency loans to Tokyo Electric Power (9501.T), the operator of a stricken nuclear plant, sources said on Wednesday.

Tokyo Electric's Fukushima Daiichi power plant was damaged in the powerful earthquake and tsunami on March 11, and engineers are working to restore cooling functions and limit the release of radiation.

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306.T), Mizuho Financial Group (8411.T) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T), Japan's top three banks, as well as trust banks and life insurers are among the institutions likely to offer the emergency financing, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The banks could begin providing the loans by the end of this month, the sources said. ($1 = 81.065 Japanese Yen)