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Evolution of high βp plasmas with improved stability and confinement*

  • Author(s): Politzer, PA
  • Casper, T
  • Forest, CB
  • Gohil, P
  • Heidbrink, WW
  • Hyatt, AW
  • James, RA
  • Jong, R
  • Lao, LL
  • Makowski, M
  • Meyer, W
  • Porter, GD
  • Sager, GT
  • Stallard, BW
  • St. John, H
  • Thompson, SJ
  • Turnbull, AD
  • Wròblewski, D
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Experiments to explore the long-time evolution of noninductive, high βp plasmas in the DIII-D tokamak [Plasma Physics and Controlled Nuclear Fusion Research, 1986 (International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1987), Vol. 1, p. 159], have identified a new, quiescent, high performance regime. The experiments were carried out at low current (400-800 kA) with medium power neutral beam injection (3-10 MW). This regime is characterized by high q0 (>2) and moderate li(∼1.3). It is reached by slow relaxation of the current profile, on the resistive time scale. As the profiles relax, q0 rises and li falls. When q0 goes above 2 (approximately), magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) activity disappears, and the stored energy rises. Most dramatic is the strong peaking of the central density, which increases by as much as a factor of 2. The improved central confinement appears similar to the PEP/reversed central shear/second stable core modes seen in tokamak experiments, but in this case without external intervention or transient excitation. At high current, a similar, but slower relaxation is seen. Also notable in connection with these discharges is the behavior of the edge and scrape-off layer (SOL). The edge localized modes (ELM's) as seen previously, are small and very rapid (to 1 kHz). The SOL exhibits high density (≥1 × 1019 m-3), which shows little or no falloff with radius. Also the power deposition at the divertor surface is very broad, up to four times the width usually seen. This regime is of particular interest for the development of steady-state tokamak operating scenarios, for the Tokamak Physics Experiment (TPX), and following reactors. © 1994 American Institute of Physics.

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