- Conference date: 5-8 October 2004
- Location: Toki (Japan)
Plasma edge physics (plasmas with temperatures in the 1 to 100 eV range, near solid surfaces) has become a key issue in controlled nuclear fusion research. As for the physics of the fully ionized hot plasma core, appropriate dimensionless parameters have been identified: present fusion research acts like wind‐channel experiments on downsized models, with respect to future fusion reactors. This is not longer possible for the plasma edge region due to dominant effects from atomic and surface processes. Integrated computational models comprising the physics of the plasma flow near boundaries, the atomic and molecular processes and the particle‐surface interactions are the only tool to evaluate present experimental results (LHD, JT60, Tore Supra, JET,…) with respect to their relevance for future fusion power experiments (ITER) or a reactor.
In particular proton and electron collisions with the hydrogenic molecules H2, O2, T2, DT, and their ions, play a key role in cooling and attenuating the magnetically confined plasma, before it hits exposed target surfaces. The surface released molecules travel in a bath of electrons and hydrogenic ions, with plasma temperatures (in the relevant region) in the 1 to 20 eV range, and typical (plasma) scale lengths are in the 1 to 10 cm range.
Sample calculations with current fusion plasma edge codes, as e.g. used by the international design team for the ITER prototypical fusion reactor, applied to the tokamak with the highest divertor collisionality today (Alcator‐C‐Mod), are used to demonstrate these issues.
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