Schwartz, Jacob A.; Ricks, Wilson; Kolemen, Egemen; Jenkins, Jesse D.

Abstract:

Fusion could be a part of future decarbonized electricity systems, but it will need to compete with other technologies.
In particular, pulsed tokamaks have a unique operational mode, and evaluating
which characteristics make them economically competitive can help select between design pathways.
Using a capacity expansion and operations model,
we determined cost thresholds for pulsed tokamaks to reach a range of penetration levels in a future decarbonized US Eastern Interconnection.
The required capital cost to reach a fusion capacity of 100 GW varied from $3000 to $7200/kW,
and the equilibrium penetration increases rapidly with decreasing cost.
The value per unit power capacity depends on the variable operational cost and on cost of its competition, particularly fission, much more than on the pulse cycle parameters.
These findings can therefore provide initial cost targets for fusion more generally in the United States.

The usage of permanent magnets to shape the confining field of a stellarator has the potential to reduce or eliminate the need for non-planar coils. As a proof-of-concept for this idea, we have developed a procedure for designing an array of cubic permanent magnets that works in tandem with a set of toroidal-field coils to confine a stellarator plasma. All of the magnets in the design are constrained to have identical geometry and one of three polarization types in order to simplify fabrication while still producing sufficient field accuracy. We present some of the key steps leading to the design, including the geometric arrangement of the magnets around the device, the procedure for optimizing the polarizations according to three allowable magnet types, and the choice of magnet types to be used. We apply these methods to design an array of rare-Earth permanent magnets that can be paired with a set of planar toroidal-field coils to confine a quasi-axisymmetric plasma with a toroidal magnetic field strength of about 0.5 T on axis.

Zhu, Hongxuan; Stoltzfus-Dueck, T; Hager, R; Ku, S; Chang, C. S.

Abstract:

Ion orbit loss is considered important for generating the radially inward electric field Er in a tokamak edge plasma. In particular, this effect is emphasized in diverted tokamaks with a magnetic X point. In neoclassical equilibria, Coulomb collisions can scatter ions onto loss orbits and generate a radially outward current, which in steady state is balanced by the radially inward current from viscosity. To quantitatively measure this loss-orbit current in an edge pedestal, an ion-orbit-flux diagnostic has been implemented in the axisymmetric version of the gyrokinetic particle-in-cell code XGC. As the first application of this diagnostic, a neoclassical DIII-D H-mode plasma is studied using gyrokinetic ions and adiabatic electrons. The validity of the diagnostic is demonstrated by studying the collisional relaxation of Er in the core. After this demonstration, the loss-orbit current is numerically measured in the edge pedestal in quasisteady state. In this plasma, it is found that the radial electric force on ions from Er approximately balances the ion radial pressure gradient in the edge pedestal, with the radial force from the plasma flow term being a minor component. The effect of orbit loss on Er is found to be only mild.

A new model for electron temperature gradient (ETG) modes is developed as a component of the Multi-Mode anomalous transport module [T. Rafiq \textit{et al.,} Phys Plasmas \textbf{20}, 032506 (2013)] to predict a time dependent electron temperature profile in conventional and low aspect ratio tokamaks. This model is based on two-fluid equations that govern the dynamics of low-frequency short- and long-wavelength electromagnetic toroidal ETG driven drift modes. A low collisionality NSTX discharge is used to scan the plasma parameter dependence on the ETG real frequency, growth rate, and electron thermal diffusivity. Electron thermal transport is discovered in the deep core region where modes are more electromagnetic in nature. Several previously reported gyrokinetic trends are reproduced, including the dependencies of density gradients, magnetic shear, $\beta$ and gradient of $\beta$ $(\betap)$, collisionality, safety factor, and toroidicity, where $\beta$ is the ratio of plasma pressure to the magnetic pressure. The electron heat diffusivity associated with the ETG mode is discovered to be on a scale consistent with the experimental diffusivity determined by power balance analysis.

An important goal of stellarator optimization is to achieve good confinement of
energetic particles such as, in the case of a reactor, alphas created by Deuterium-Tritium
(D-T) fusion. In this work, a fixed-boundary stellarator equilibrium was re-optimized for
energetic particle confinement via a two-step process: first, by minimizing deviations from quasi-axisymmetry (QA) on a single flux surface near the mid-radius, and secondly by maintaining
this improved quasi-axisymmetry while minimizing the analytical quantity ΓC , which represents
the angle between magnetic flux surfaces and contours of J||, the second adiabatic invariant.
This was performed multiple times, resulting in a group of equilibria with significantly reduced
energetic particle losses, as evaluated by Monte Carlo simulations of alpha particles in scaled-up
versions of the equilibria. This is the first time that energetic particle losses in a QA stellarator
have successfully been reduced by optimizing ΓC . The relationship between energetic particle
losses and metrics such as QA error (Eqa) and ΓC in this set of equilibria were examined via
statistical methods and a nearly linear relationship between volume-averaged ΓC and prompt
particle losses was found.

Recent U.S. fusion development strategy reports all recommend that the U.S. should pursue innovative science and technology to enable construction of a Fusion Pilot Plant (FPP) that produces net electricity from fusion at low capital cost. Compact tokamaks have been proposed as a means of potentially reducing the capital cost of a fusion pilot plant. However, compact steady-state tokamak FPPs face the challenge of integrating a high fraction of self-driven current with high core confinement, plasma pressure, and high divertor parallel heat flux. This integration is sufficiently challenging that a dedicated sustained-high-power-density (SHPD) tokamak facility is proposed by the U.S. community as the optimal way to close this integration gap. Performance projections for the steady-state tokamak FPP regime are presented and a preliminary SHPD device with substantial flexibility in lower aspect ratio (A=2-2.5), shaping, and divertor configuration to narrow gaps to a FPP is described.

Sharma, A. Y.; Cole, M. D. J.; Görler, T.; Chen, Y.; Hatch, D. R.; Guttenfelder, W.; Hager, R.; Sturdevant, B. J.; Ku, S.; Chang, C. S.

Abstract:

Plasma shaping may have a stronger effect on global turbulence in tight-aspect-ratio tokamaks than in conventional-aspect-ratio tokamaks due to the higher toroidicity and more acute poloidal asymmetry in the magnetic field. In addition, previous local gyrokinetic studies have shown that it is necessary to include parallel magnetic field perturbations in order to accurately compute growth rates of electromagnetic modes in tight-aspect-ratio tokamaks. In this work, the effects of elongation and triangularity on global, ion-scale, linear electromagnetic modes are studied at NSTX aspect ratio and high plasma beta using the global gyrokinetic particle-in-cell code XGC. The effects of compressional magnetic perturbations are approximated via a well-known modification to the particle drifts that was developed for flux-tube simulations [N. Joiner et al., Phys. Plasmas 17, 072104 (2010)], without proof of its validity in a global simulation. Magnetic equilibria are re-constructed for each distinct plasma profile that is used. Coulomb collision effects are not considered. Within the limitations imposed by the present study, it is found that linear growth rates of electromagnetic modes (collisionless microtearing modes and kinetic ballooning modes) are significantly reduced by NSTX-like shaping. For example, growth rates of kinetic ballooning modes at high beta are reduced to the level of that of collisionless trapped electron modes.