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Starting next month, 12 Tokyo Electric Power Co. employees will begin working for an independent administrative entity that will take on some government nuclear plant inspection duties, according to officials.

The 12 employees, who have worked at nuclear plants run by the scandal-tainted Tepco, will be working for an entity tasked with supervising Tepco and other nuclear power utilities — a move likely to raise serious doubts about its independence.

They will be on loan to the new entity beginning Oct. 1, the day it will be launched with about 420 employees, the officials said.

Tepco had to shut down all 17 of its nuclear reactors for special safety checks and repairs after it was revealed last year that it had falsified safety inspection data to cover up reactor faults.

In addition to the 12 from Tepco, nine other utilities will dispatch a combined 25 employees to the new entity, including eight from Kansai Electric Power Co.

A Tepco official told Kyodo News that it received a request from the government to dispatch employees knowledgeable in nuclear engineering.

Apart from being responsible for some reactor facility inspections previously handled by the state, the new body will also monitor checks carried out by companies.

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