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Progress towards increased understanding and control of internal transport barriers in DIII-D


Substantial progress has been made towards both understanding and control of internal transport barriers (ITBs) on DIII-D, resulting in the discovery of a new sustained high performance operating mode termed the quiescent double barrier (QDB) regime. The QDB regime combines core transport barriers with a quiescent ELM-free H mode edge (termed QH mode), giving rise to separate (double) core and edge transport barriers. The core and edge barriers are mutually compatible and do not merge, resulting in broad core profiles with an edge pedestal. The QH mode edge is characterized by ELM-free behaviour with continuous multiharmonic MHD activity in the pedestal region and has provided density and radiated power control for longer than 3.5 s (25τE) with divertor pumping. QDB plasmas are long pulse high performance candidates, having maintained a βN H89 product of 7 for five energy confinement times (Ti ≤ 16 keV, βN ≤ 2.9, H89 ≤ 2.4 τE ≤ 150 ms, DD neutron rate Sn ≤ 4 × 1015 s-1). The QDB regime has only been obtained in counter-NBI discharges (injection antiparallel to the plasma current) with divertor pumping. Other results include successful expansion of the ITB radius using (separately) both impurity injection and counter-NBI, and the formation of ITBs in the electron thermal channel using both ECH and strong negative central shear (NCS) at high power. These results are interpreted within a theoretical framework in which turbulence suppression is the key to ITB formation and control, and a decrease in core turbulence is observed in all cases of ITB formation.

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