Spotlight on Hunterston


We continue our journey through the AWD archives, taking a look at some of our most memorable projects from the last few years. This week we focus in on our suspended access platforms, one of our most in-demand services. Our award-winning access platforms have been used to provide access to a variety of structures in locations across the globe, and our experienced structural engineers have a strong reputation for finding the best-fit solution for accessing any structure. Read on to learn about our triple-deck suspended access platform design for Hunterston Power Station, from 2008.

Hunterston Nuclear Power Station, situated in North Ayrshire on the west coast of Scotland is currently undergoing decommissioning after its closure in 1990. As part of this process, our client, KDC Ltd, approached AWD to design an access platform to support workers in the installation of a protective membrane over the glass and steel panels which surround the nuclear reactors at the site, to prevent the ingress of water during the decommissioning process.

Hunterston 1

At AWD, we always take a holistic view of our client’s requirements, designing not only the base elements required but also taking into consideration other factors which affect our client’s work on the site. Due to the hazardous nature of the Hunterston site, we wanted our design to help maximise productivity, reduce the time spent working at height, and provide a cost effective, and simple design which was quick and easy to assemble on site.

Our solution was a triple-deck suspended access platform. The triple-deck design provided a clear and expansive working space to maximise the number of workers who could be on the site in a safe manner, compared with a traditional single deck platform. The bottom deck of our design comprised a Technitruss modular space frame which followed the curved shape of the building. The space frame was hung from drop tubes which were supported by winches from rigs on the roof of the platform. The two upper decks and the platform roof were also supported on the drop tubes. This allowed the platform to be lowered quickly and easily to complete the installation work as quickly as possible.

Hunterston 2

As safety is always paramount in all our designs, we designed the platform to be fully redundant to ensure that the failure of any structural component would not affect the structural integrity of the overall platform.

For quick and easy installation, and to minimise disruption to other decommissioning activities, our platform was assembled at ground level before being lifted into place and connected together. The additional benefit of this method was that it also reduced the requirement for working at height.

Our suspended access platform at Hunterston Power Station is a typical example of the creative engineering solutions we offer our clients. Contact us at or call us on 01563 594621 to learn more about our suspended access platforms, or read more about our access engineering services here.