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Plasma transport control and self-sustaining fusion reactor

Description: The possibility of a high performance/low cost fusion reactor concept which can simultaneously satisfy (1) high beta, (2) high bootstrap fraction (self-sustaining), and (3) high confinement is discussed. In CDX-U, a tokamak configuration was created and sustained solely by internally generated bootstrap currents, in which a seed current is created through a non-classical current diffusion process. Recent theoretical studies of MHD stability limits in spherical torus [e.g., the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX)] produced a promising regime with stable beta of 45% and bootstrap current fraction of {ge}99%. Since the bootstrap current is generated by the pressure gradient, to satisfy the needed current profile for MHD stable high beta regimes, it is essential to develop a means to control the pressure profile. It is suggested that the most efficient approach for pressure profile control is through a creation of transport barriers (localized regions of low plasma transport) in the plasma. As a tool for creating the core transport barrier, poloidal-sheared-flow generation by ion Bernstein waves (IBW) near the wave absorption region appears to be promising. In PBX-M, application of IBW power produced a high-quality internal transport barrier where the ion energy and particle transport became neoclassical in the barrier region. The observation is consistent with the IBW-induced-poloidal-sheared-flow model. An experiment is planned on TFTR to demonstrate this concept with D-T reactor-grade plasmas. For edge transport control, a method based on electron ripple injection (ERI), driven by electron cyclotron heating (ECH), is being developed on CDX-U. It is estimated that both the IBW and ERI methods can create a transport barrier in reactor-grade plasmas (e.g., ITER) with a relatively small amount of power ({approx}10 MW {much_lt} P{sub fusion}).
Date: February 1, 1997
Creator: Ono, M.; Bell, R. & Choe, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conceptual study of electron ripple injection for tokamak transport control

Description: A non-intrusive method for inducing radial electric field based on electron ripple injection is under development by the Princeton CDX-U group. The radial electric field is known to play an important role in the L-H and H-VH mode transition according to the recent theoretical and experimental research. It is therefore important to develop a non-intrusive tool to control the radial electric field profile in tokamak plasmas. The present technique utilizes externally-applied local magnetic ripple fields to trap electrons at the edge, allowing them to penetrate towards the plasma center via {gradient}B and curvature drifts, causing the flux surfaces to charge up negatively. Electron cyclotron resonance heating is utilized to increase the trapped population and the electron drift velocity by raising the perpendicular energy of trapped electrons. In order to quantify the effects of cyclotron resonance heating on electrons, the temperature anisotropy of resonant electrons in a tokamak plasma is calculated. For the calculation of anisotropic temperatures, energy moments of the bounce-averaged Fokker-Planck equation with a bi-Maxwellian distribution function for heated electrons are solved, assuming a moderate wave power and a constant quasilinear diffusion coefficient. Simulation using a guiding-center orbit model have been performed to understand the behavior of suprathermal electrons in the presence of ripple fields. Examples for CDX-U and ITER parameters are given.
Date: August 1, 1995
Creator: Choe, W.; Ono, M. & Chang, C.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electron ripple injection concept for transport control

Description: Recent experiments in many devices have provided firm evidence that the edge radial electric field profile differs between L- and H-modes, and that these fields can greatly modify transport in tokamak plasmas. A nonintrusive method for inducing radial electric field based on electron ripple injection is being developed by the CDX-U group. This technique utilizes a pair of special coils to create a local magnetic field ripple to trap the electrons at the edge of the plasma. The trapped electrons then drift into the plasma due to the [del]B drift. An ECH power is applied to accelerate electrons to sufficient perpendicular energy to penetrate into the plasma. Application of ECH power to the trapped electrons should provide the desired 20 A of electron current with electrons of a few keV of energy and v[perpendicular]/v[parallel] [much gt] 1. A controlled experiment to investigate the physics of ECH aided ripple injection has been designed on CDX-U. With the set of ripple coils designed for CDX-U, a ripple fraction of [delta] ([double bond] [del]B/B[sub av]) [approximately] 5% is attainable. At this ripple fraction, electrons are trapped if v[perpendicular]/v[parallel] [much gt] 1> (2[delta])[sup [minus][1/2]] [approx]3. A resonant cavity box was fabricated for efficient heating of the trapped electrons. It is also capable of measuring the effect of the field ripple in conjunction with trapped electrons. Some preliminary results are given.
Date: January 1, 1992
Creator: Choe, W.; Ono, M. & Hwang, Y.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bootstrap Current for the Edge Pedestal Plasma in a Diverted Tokamak Geometry

Description: The edge bootstrap current plays a critical role in the equilibrium and stability of the steep edge pedestal plasma. The pedestal plasma has an unconventional and difficult neoclassical property, as compared with the core plasma. It has a narrow passing particle region in velocity space that can be easily modified or destroyed by Coulomb collisions. At the same time, the edge pedestal plasma has steep pressure and electrostatic potential gradients whose scale-lengths are comparable with the ion banana width, and includes a magnetic separatrix surface, across which the topological properties of the magnetic field and particle orbits change abruptly. A driftkinetic particle code XGC0, equipped with a mass-momentum-energy conserving collision operator, is used to study the edge bootstrap current in a realistic diverted magnetic field geometry with a self-consistent radial electric field. When the edge electrons are in the weakly collisional banana regime, surprisingly, the present kinetic simulation confirms that the existing analytic expressions [represented by O. Sauter et al. , Phys. Plasmas 6 , 2834 (1999)] are still valid in this unconventional region, except in a thin radial layer in contact with the magnetic separatrix. The agreement arises from the dominance of the electron contribution to the bootstrap current compared with ion contribution and from a reasonable separation of the trapped-passing dynamics without a strong collisional mixing. However, when the pedestal electrons are in plateau-collisional regime, there is significant deviation of numerical results from the existing analytic formulas, mainly due to large effective collisionality of the passing and the boundary layer trapped particles in edge region. In a conventional aspect ratio tokamak, the edge bootstrap current from kinetic simulation can be significantly less than that from the Sauter formula if the electron collisionality is high. On the other hand, when the aspect ratio is close to unity, the collisional ...
Date: August 10, 2012
Creator: Koh, S.; Chang, C. S.; Ku, S.; Menard, J. E.; Weitzner, H. & Choe, W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emissive limiter bias experiment for improved confinement of tokamaks

Description: Experiments have been performed in Ohmic discharges of the UCLA CCT tokamak with a LaB[sub 6] biased limiter, capable of emitting energetic electrons as a technique to improve confinement in tokamaks. To study the effects of emitted electrons, the limiter position, bias voltage, and plasma position were varied. The results have shown that the plasma positioning with respect to the emissive limiter plays an important role in obtaining H-mode plasmas. The emissive cathode must be located close to the last closed flux surface in order to charge up the plasma. As the cathode is moved closer to the wall, the positioning of the plasma becomes more critical since the plasma can easily detach from the cathode and reattach to the wall, resulting in the termination of H-mode. The emissive capability appears to be important for operating at lower bias voltage and reducing impurity levels in the plasma. With a heated cathode, transition to H-mode was observed for V[sub bias] [le] 50 V and I[sub inj] [ge] 30 A. At a lower cathode heater current, a higher bias voltage is required for the transition. Moreover, with a lower cathode heater current, the time delay for inducing H-mode becomes longer, which can be attributed to the required time for the self-heating of the cathode to reach the emissive temperature. From this result, we conclude that the capacity for emission can significantly improve the performance of limiter biasing for inducing H-mode transition. With L-mode plasmas, the injection current flowing out of the cathode was generally higher than 100 A.
Date: January 1, 1992
Creator: Choe, W.; Ono, M.; Darrow, D.S. (Princeton Univ., NJ (United States). Plasma Physics Lab.); Pribyl, P.A.; Liberati, J.R. & Taylor, R.J. (California Univ., Los Angeles, CA (United States). Tokamak Fusion Lab.)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Novel current drive experiments on the CDX-U, HIT, and DIII-D Tokamaks

Description: Two types of novel, non-inductive current drive concepts for starting-up and maintaining tokamak discharges have been developed on the CDX-U, HIT, and DIII-D Tokamaks. On CDX-U, a new, non-inductive current drive technique utilizing fully internally generated pressure driven currents has been demonstrated. The measured current density profile shows a non-hollow profile which agrees with a modeling calculation including helicity conserving non-classical current transport providing the seed current''. Another current drive concept, dc-helicity injection, has been investigated on, CDX-U, HIT and DIII-D. This method utilizes injection of magnetic helicity via low energy electron currents, maintaining the plasma current through helicity conserving relaxiation. In these experiments, non-ohmic tokamak plasmas were formed and maintained in the tens of kA range.
Date: January 1, 1992
Creator: Ono, M.; Forest, C.B.; Hwang, Y.S.; Armstrong, R.J.; Choe, W.; Darrow, D.S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress Towards High Performance, Steady-state Spherical Torus

Description: Research on the Spherical Torus (or Spherical Tokamak) is being pursued to explore the scientific benefits of modifying the field line structure from that in more moderate aspect-ratio devices, such as the conventional tokamak. The Spherical Tours (ST) experiments are being conducted in various U.S. research facilities including the MA-class National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at Princeton, and three medium-size ST research facilities: Pegasus at University of Wisconsin, HIT-II at University of Washington, and CDX-U at Princeton. In the context of the fusion energy development path being formulated in the U.S., an ST-based Component Test Facility (CTF) and, ultimately a Demo device, are being discussed. For these, it is essential to develop high-performance, steady-state operational scenarios. The relevant scientific issues are energy confinement, MHD stability at high beta (B), noninductive sustainment, ohmic-solenoid-free start-up, and power and particle handling. In the confinement area, the NSTX experiments have shown that the confinement can be up to 50% better than the ITER-98-pby2 H-mode scaling, consistent with the requirements for an ST-based CTF and Demo. In NSTX, CTF-relevant average toroidal beta values bT of up to 35% with the near unity central betaT have been obtained. NSTX will be exploring advanced regimes where bT up to 40% can be sustained through active stabilization of resistive wall modes. To date, the most successful technique for noninductive sustainment in NSTX is the high beta-poloidal regime, where discharges with a high noninductive fraction ({approx}60% bootstrap current + neutral-beam-injected current drive) were sustained over the resistive skin time. Research on radio-frequency-based heating and current drive utilizing HHFW (High Harmonic Fast Wave) and EBW (Electron Bernstein Wave) is also pursued on NSTX, Pegasus, and CDX-U. For noninductive start-up, the Coaxial Helicity Injection (CHI), developed in HIT/HIT-II, has been adopted on NSTX to test the method up to Ip {approx} ...
Date: October 2, 2003
Creator: Ono, M.; Bell, M.G.; Bell, R.E.; Bigelow, T.; Bitter, M.; Blanchard, W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status and Plans for the National Spherical Torus Experimental Research Facility

Description: An overview of the research capabilities and the future plans on the MA-class National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) at Princeton is presented. NSTX research is exploring the scientific benefits of modifying the field line structure from that in more conventional aspect ratio devices, such as the tokamak. The relevant scientific issues pursued on NSTX include energy confinement, MHD stability at high beta, non-inductive sustainment, solenoid-free start-up, and power and particle handling. In support of the NSTX research goal, research tools are being developed by the NSTX team. In the context of the fusion energy development path being formulated in the US, an ST-based Component Test Facility (CTF) and, ultimately a high beta Demo device based on the ST, are being considered. For these, it is essential to develop high performance (high beta and high confinement), steady-state (non-inductively driven) ST operational scenarios and an efficient solenoid-free start-up concept. We will also briefly describe the Next-Step-ST (NSST) device being designed to address these issues in fusion-relevant plasma conditions.
Date: July 27, 2005
Creator: Columbia University
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department