Volume 22, Issue 2, February 2015
Index of content:
- SPECIAL TOPIC: ITER PHYSICS
Progress on ion cyclotron range of frequencies heating physics and technology in support of the International Tokamak Experimental Reactor22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4901090View Description Hide Description
Ion cyclotron range of frequency (ICRF) heating is foreseen as an integral component of the initial ITER operation. The status of ICRF preparations for ITER and supporting research were updated in the 2007 [Gormezano et al., Nucl. Fusion 47, S285 (2007)] report on the ITER physics basis. In this report, we summarize progress made toward the successful application of ICRF power on ITER since that time. Significant advances have been made in support of the technical design by development of new techniques for arc protection, new algorithms for tuning and matching, carrying out experimental tests of more ITER like antennas and demonstration on mockups that the design assumptions are correct. In addition, new applications of the ICRF system, beyond just bulk heating, have been proposed and explored.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4901251View Description Hide Description
An overview of the present status of research toward the final design of the ITER disruption mitigation system (DMS) is given. The ITER DMS is based on massive injection of impurities, in order to radiate the plasma stored energy and mitigate the potentially damaging effects of disruptions. The design of this system will be extremely challenging due to many physics and engineering constraints such as limitations on port access and the amount and species of injected impurities. Additionally, many physics questions relevant to the design of the ITER disruption mitigation system remain unsolved such as the mechanisms for mixing and assimilation of injected impurities during the rapid shutdown and the mechanisms for the subsequent formation and dissipation of runaway electron current.
22(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4902126View Description Hide Description
Externally applied, non-axisymmetric magnetic fields form the basis of several relatively simple and direct methods to control magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities in a tokamak, and most present and planned tokamaks now include a set of non-axisymmetric control coils for application of fields with low toroidal mode numbers. Non-axisymmetric applied fields are routinely used to compensate small asymmetries ( to ) of the nominally axisymmetric field, which otherwise can lead to instabilities through braking of plasma rotation and through direct stimulus of tearing modes or kink modes. This compensation may be feedback-controlled, based on the magnetic response of the plasma to the external fields. Non-axisymmetric fields are used for direct magnetic stabilization of the resistive wall mode—a kink instability with a growth rate slow enough that feedback control is practical. Saturated magnetic islands are also manipulated directly with non-axisymmetric fields, in order to unlock them from the wall and spin them to aid stabilization, or position them for suppression by localized current drive. Several recent scientific advances form the foundation of these developments in the control of instabilities. Most fundamental is the understanding that stable kink modes play a crucial role in the coupling of non-axisymmetric fields to the plasma, determining which field configurations couple most strongly, how the coupling depends on plasma conditions, and whether external asymmetries are amplified by the plasma. A major advance for the physics of high-beta plasmas ( = plasma pressure/magnetic field pressure) has been the understanding that drift-kinetic resonances can stabilize the resistive wall mode at pressures well above the ideal-MHD stability limit, but also that such discharges can be very sensitive to external asymmetries. The common physics of stable kink modes has brought significant unification to the topics of static error fields at low beta and resistive wall modes at high beta. These and other scientific advances, and their application to control of MHD instabilities, will be reviewed with emphasis on the most recent results and their applicability to ITER.