McGuire Nuclear Station and Alden Research Laboratory recently completed an extensive computational and experimental study characterizing the operating fluid mechanics and debris clean-out behavior of a rotating-drum strainer. The strainers are used in the plant for raw water (RN) and are installed on the suction side of the RN system pumps. The study served a twofold purpose. The first part of the study identified the requirements for flow withdrawal from the strainer to ensure adequate cleaning performance. It also identified the maximum debris loading rate at which the strainer could reject debris into the outlet channel [1]. The findings defined input to the second part of the study, the backwash pump performance evaluation, which is the focus of this paper. The backwash pumps will be installed to backwash the strainers with performance requirements based on the results of part one of the study. MPR Associates joined the effort to evaluate different pumps for performance under normal operating and design basis conditions. A test loop was constructed that allowed controlled debris injection at atmospheric and vacuum conditions. Vacuum condition performance is required since some operating conditions generate pressures inside the strainer near 9 ft abs. This paper summarizes the performance differences by pump type and discusses the characteristics of debris-laden performance relative to standard performance and the influence of degraded conditions on debris handling.

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