The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) initiated a generic safety issue (GSI-191) assessing debris accumulation and resultant chemical effects on pressurized water reactor (PWR) sump performance. GSI-191 has been investigated using reduced-scale separate-effects testing and integral-effects testing facilities. These experiments focused on developing a procedure to generate prototypical debris beds that provide stable and reproducible conventional head loss (CHL). These beds also have the ability to filter out chemical precipitates resulting in chemical head loss. The newly developed procedure presented in this paper is used to generate debris beds with different particulate to fiber ratios (η). Results from this experimental investigation show that the prepared beds can provide reproducible CHL for different η in a single and multivertical loops facility within ±7% under the same flow conditions. The measured CHL values are consistent with the predicted values using the NUREG-6224 correlation. Also, the results showed that the prepared debris beds following the proposed procedure are capable of detecting standard aluminum and calcium precipitates, and the head loss increase (chemical head loss) was measured and reported in this paper.

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