US 20070084782 A1
A filter medium for strainers used in the emergency sump of a nuclear power plant ECCS. The filter medium is employed with double wall, concentric tube type strainer modules. The filter medium is preferably constructed of a woven or knitted stainless steel wire material and is shaped in a cylinder so that it can be inserted between an external and an internal strainer of a double wall, concentric tube type strainer in such a manner that water that passes through the strainer must pass through and be filtered by the filter medium before the water can be pumped to the reactor core. The filter medium is inserted through the bottom of the strainer module and is held in place by an x-shaped retainer.
1. Filter medium for strainers used in nuclear power plant ECCS comprising:
filter medium secured immediately downstream of a strainer in a water flow path of an ECCS system for a nuclear reactor and located upstream in the water flow path of an ECCS pump so that water that has flowed through the strainer must first pass through the filter medium before it can reach the ECCS pump, and
said filter medium constructed of stainless steel wire material.
2. Filter medium for strainers used in nuclear power plant ECCS according to
said filter medium formed into the shape of hollow cylinders so that the cylindrical filter medium can be inserted into a space created on the downstream side of each double wall strainer module provided on the strainer.
3. Filter medium for strainers used in nuclear power plant ECCS according to
retention means associated with each cylindrical filter medium for securing the cylindrical filter medium within its associated strainer module.
4. Filter medium for strainers used in nuclear power plant ECCS according to
5. A combination filter medium and strainer used in nuclear power plant ECCS comprising:
a strainer provided in an emergency sump for a nuclear reactor, said strainer provided with a plurality of strainer modules, each strainer module secured to a plenum box that communicates via a water suction line with an ECCS pump for supplying water to a reactor core, each strainer module provided with spaced apart double walls that form a cylindrical interior space on the downstream side of the double walls, and
a cylindrical filter medium secured between the double walls so that the filter medium is located within the cylindrical interior space.
6. A combination filter medium and strainer used in nuclear power plant ECCS according to
said cylindrical filter medium secured between the double walls of its associated strainer module by retention means, and said retention means secured to a bottom of said strainer module in such a way as to removably block the insertion in or removal of the cylindrical filter medium relative to its associated strainer module.
7. A method for filtering water contained in a containment sump of an ECCS for a nuclear reactor through a combination filter medium and strainer comprising:
straining water from a containment sump through a perforated strainer in an ECCS to remove the larger particles of debris and other matter from the water,
filtering the strained water that has passed through the perforated strainer through a filter medium constructed of woven or knitted stainless steel wire material to remove the majority of the remaining debris and other matter from the strained water, and pumping the strained and filtered water that has passed through the filter medium to a reactor core by use of an ECCS pump.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a filter medium that is used in conjunction with concentric tube type strainers used in emergency core cooling systems (ECCS) of nuclear power plants. Specifically, the present invention is a woven or knitted stainless steel filter medium that is inserted between an external and an internal double wall concentric tube type strainer and through which water must pass and be filtered after the water passes through the strainer and before the water can be pumped to the reactor core.
2. Description of the Related Art
The containment sump, which is also known as the emergency or recirculation sump, is part of the Emergency Core Cooling System or ECCS of a nuclear power plant. The ECCS is one of several safety systems required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission or NRC in every nuclear power plant constructed in the United States. The ECCS is required in order to mitigate a design basis accident.
The containment sump collects reactor coolant and chemically reactive spray solutions following a loss-of-coolant-accident or LOCA. The containment sump serves as the water source to support long-term recirculation for the functions of residual heat removal, emergency core cooling, and containment atmosphere cleanup. Thus this water source and related equipment are important safety components of the nuclear power plant.
Typically, the containment sump is surrounded by a debris strainer to prevent debris from entering the ECCS suction lines. The strainer is constructed with a plurality of perforated strainer modules that serve to strain and filter out fibrous and particulate debris and other material from recirculation water that enters the nuclear power plant containment sump during an emergency core cooling event. It is important to filter out this debris from the water before the water passes into the pumps of the ECCS. Debris can block or restrict flow through the openings in the strainer or, if allowed to pass through the strainer and into the pumps of the ECCS, can damage the ECCS pumps and components in the systems served by the ECCS pumps such as the reactor.
The present invention reduces or eliminates debris and other material that potentially passes through the strainers used in nuclear power plant containment sumps. For a typical strainer, debris quantities that can bypass or pass through the openings of the emergency strainers are typically on the order of five percent or more of the total debris and material that deposits onto the strainer surface. Thus a significant amount of debris typically will pass through the strainer. The amount of debris and material passing through the strainer has been shown to have potentially adverse affects on equipment and components downstream of the strainer. This can include excessive wear, plugging, blockage, fouling, etc. This can result in equipment failure, decreased equipment life, clogging of the reactor fuel cooling paths, etc. Hence the purpose of the present invention is to reduce or eliminate the bypassing of debris and material in order to minimize or eliminate adverse affects on downstream equipment and components.
The nuclear power industry has not employed any type of filter medium in association with the strainers that could become clogged because this could result in loss of head pressure, cause loss of suction on the pumps resulting in cavitation, and thereby preventing the flow of cooling water to the reactor. Thus, the addition of filter medium to the strainers goes against current practice in the industry.
The present invention consists of the primary strainer device, which is typically constructed of perforated stainless steel, coupled with a custom designed filter medium insert of stainless steel knitted or woven wire mesh. The drawings that are attached depict a particular perforated strainer design and utilize a cylindrical knitted wire mesh shape filter medium to act as the secondary filter. However, the filtering medium can be produced in various shapes and configurations for use with different strainer configurations.
The knitted or woven wire mesh filter medium is customized by using various diameters, densities, crimping styles, and configurations to optimize the reduction of bypassed debris and other material for each particular application. The knitted or woven wire mesh is located inside of or on the downstream side of the primary strainer and, as such, serves as a secondary filtering medium, with the strainer serving the primary filtering function. The debris straining effect of the primary strainer combines with the secondary filter to produce a system that greatly reduces bypassed debris and other material potentially encountered during recirculation operation of the ECCS and it does so with no significant increase in fluid pressure drop across the combination strainer and filter.
The combination strainer and filter of the present invention produces two physical factors that reduce or eliminate the bypassing of debris and other material. The first is bypass resistance and the second is entrapment of the debris or other material on the filter medium.
Bypass resistance is the physical resistance to debris and other material from passing through openings in the primary strainer. Use of the knitted or woven wire mesh secondary filter medium in combination with the strainer causes an increase in bypass resistance associated with the primary strainer. This bypass resistance factor tends to cause a significant fraction of the debris and other material that may otherwise pass through the primary strainer to remain on the upstream surface of the primary strainer.
For debris and other material that manages to pass through the openings in the primary strainer, the knitted or woven wire mesh secondary filter medium entraps most, if not all, of the remaining debris and other material within the convoluted wire mesh structure, and thus prevents it from passing into the downstream flow of cooling water traveling to the ECCS pumps.
The present invention is designed to function as a totally passive device without requiring electrical power, periodic replacement, or human intervention or operation, other than periodic inspections approximately once every 18 to 24 months. The use of stainless steel material for the filter medium will ensure the present invention has long term functionality, will not be affected by corrosive conditions, and can remain submerged in the containment water conditions expected following a postulated LOCA.
The present invention is a filter medium for strainers used in the emergency core cooling system of nuclear power plants. The filter medium is used in conjunction with double wall, concentric tube type strainer modules. The filter medium is preferably constructed of a woven or knitted stainless steel wire material and is shaped in a cylinder so that it can be inserted between an external and an internal strainer of a double wall, concentric tube type strainer in such a manner that water that passes through the strainer must pass through and be filtered by the filter medium before the water can be pumped to the reactor core.
The cylindrical filter medium is held in position between the external and internal strainers of each double wall concentric tube type strainer typically by an x-shaped retainer.
Referring now to the drawings and initially to
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The circular bottom plate 50 and the bottom flange 20 are located in approximately the same plane. The circular bottom plate 50 is located within the circular opening 38 provided in the bottom flange 20 and spaced apart from the bottom flange 20 so that the cylindrical interior space 32 is continuous to the bottom 24 of the module 16. As illustrated in
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While the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is manifest that many changes may be made in the details of construction and the arrangement of components without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure. It is understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments set forth herein for the purposes of exemplification, but is to be limited only by the scope of the attached claim or claims, including the full range of equivalency to which each element thereof is entitled.