The containment sump, also known as emergency or recirculation sump, is part of the Emergency Core Cooling System (ECCS). Every nuclear power plant is required by regulations to have an ECCS to mitigate a design basis accident. The containment sump of a Pressurized Water Reactor (PWR) collects reactor coolant and chemically reactive spray solutions following a Loss of Coolant Accident (LOCA). The containment sump serves as the water source to support long-term recirculation. This water source, the related pump inlets and the piping between the source and inlets are all important safety components. Suppression pools in Boiling Water Reactors (BWRs) serve the same purpose as PWR containment sumps. Historically, a passive debris screen has been used to prevent debris from entering the ECCS suction lines surrounding the containment sump. Previous incidents demonstrated that the potential for excessive head loss across the containment sump screens exists because of the accumulation of debris on the containment sump. Because of this, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has concluded that containment sump blockage is a potential concern for PWRs. US BWRs were required to conduct plant-specific evaluations of their suction strainer performance and, as required, modify their plant design. While all US PWRs are required to resolve this Generic Safety Issue (GSI-191), containment sump blockage continues to be a major concern for both BWRs and PWRs internationally. This paper describes the GE Active Strainer design, one of several strainers developed to resolve this generic safety issue. The Active Strainer presents an innovative and novel method of addressing containment sump blockage. This strainer employs a rotating, or “active”, plow and brush that sweep over a perforated surface. By keeping the perforated surface free of debris, fluid is allowed to pass through, providing sufficient coolant to the ECCS pumps to support long-term recirculation. Due to the unique method by which the Active Strainer filters coolant, a test program was developed to demonstrate its functionality and viability. Intrinsic differences between passive and active solutions make previous methods of testing obsolete for the GE Active Strainer. Moreover, the complex and varying geometries and conditions of actual plant containment sumps are difficult to replicate. Therefore, a methodology was developed to ensure prototypical test environment and strainer debris loads in a scaled test facility. This paper will discuss the GE Active Strainer design, the testing conducted and subsequent conclusions.

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