LONDON Britain's nuclear regulator has granted consent for construction to start at EDF's Hinkley C nuclear power plant, it said on Monday.
French utility EDF's 18 billion pound ($23 billion) project will be the first nuclear plant to be built in Britain in more than 20 years.
Britain's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) said the consent was a regulatory milestone and covered the placement of the concrete for the first safety-related structure at the plant, which is due to start producing power around 2025.
EDF is building the plant in southwest England with China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), which has a 33.5 percent stake. It is expected to generate 3.2 gigawatts of electricity, enough to meet about 7 percent of Britain's demand.
($1 = 0.7948 pounds)
(Reporting by Susanna Twidale; editing by David Clarke)