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Comment on “Magnetic geometry and physics of advanced divertors: The X-divertor and the snowflake” [Phys. Plasmas 20
, 102507 (2013)]
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In the recently published paper “Magnetic geometry and physics of advanced divertors: The X-divertor and the snowflake” [Phys. Plasmas 20, 102507 (2013)], the authors raise interesting and important issues concerning divertor physics and design. However, the paper contains significant errors: (a) The conceptual framework used in it for the evaluation of divertor “quality” is reduced to the assessment of the magnetic field structure in the outer Scrape-Off Layer. This framework is incorrect because processes affecting the pedestal, the private flux region and all of the divertor legs (four, in the case of a snowflake) are an inseparable part of divertor operation. (b) The concept of the divertor index focuses on only one feature of the magnetic field structure and can be quite misleading when applied to divertor design. (c) The suggestion to rename the divertor configurations experimentally realized on NSTX (National Spherical Torus Experiment) and DIII-D (Doublet III-D) from snowflakes to X-divertors is not justified: it is not based on comparison of these configurations with the prototypical X-divertor, and it ignores the fact that the NSTX and DIII-D poloidal magnetic field geometries fit very well into the snowflake “two-null” prescription.
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