A sequence of H-mode discharges with increasing levels of pre-discharge lithium evaporation (�dose�) was conducted in high triangularity and elongation boundary shape in NSTX. Energy confinement increased, and recycling decreased with increasing lithium dose, similar to a previous lithium dose scan in medium triangularity and elongation plasmas. Data-constrained SOLPS interpretive modeling quantified the edge transport change: the electron particle diffusivity decreased by 10-30x. The electron thermal diffusivity decreased by 4x just inside the top of the pedestal, but increased by up to 5x very near the separatrix. These results provide a baseline expectation for lithium benefits in NSTX-U, which is optimized for a boundary shape similar to the one in this experiment.
The control of divertor heat loads - both steady state and transient - remains a key challenge for the successful operation of ITER and FNSF. Magnetic perturbations provide a promising technique to control ELMs (transients), but understanding their detailed impact is difficult due to their symmetry breaking nature. One approach for reducing steady state heat loads are so called 'advanced divertors' which aim at optimizing the magnetic field configuration: the snowflake and the (super-)X-divertor. It is likely that both concepts - magnetic perturbations and advanced divertors - will have to work together, and we explore their interaction based on the NSTX-U setup. An overview of different divertor configurations under the impact of magnetic perturbations is presented, and the resulting impact on plasma edge transport is investigated with the EMC3-EIRENE code.
Variations in size of the magnetic footprint of the perturbed separatrix are found, which is related to the level of flux expansion on the divertor target. Non-axisymmetric peaking of the heat flux related to the perturbed separatrix is found at the outer strike point, but only in locations where flux expansion is not too large.
The Far-infrared Tangential Interferometer/Polarimeter (FIReTIP) system has been refurbished and
is being reinstalled on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) to supply
real-time line-integrated core electron density measurements for use in the NSTX-U plasma control
system (PCS) to facilitate real-time density feedback control of the NSTX-U plasma. Inclusion
of a visible light heterodyne interferometer in the FIReTIP system allows for real-time vibration
compensation due to movement of an internally mounted retroreflector and the FIReTIP front-end
optics. Real-time signal correction is achieved through use of a National Instruments CompactRIO
field-programmable gate array.
Menard, J.E.; Brown, T.; El-Guebaly, L.; Boyer, M.; Canik, J.; Colling, B.; Raman, R.; Wang, Z.; Zhai, Y.; Buxton, P.; Covele, B.; D'Angelo, C.; Davis, A.; Gerhardt, S.; Gryaznevich, M.; Harb, M.; Hender, T.C.; Kaye, S.; Kingham, D.; Kotschenreuther, M.; Mahajan, S.; Maingi, R.; Marriott, E.; Meier, E.T.; Mynsberge, L.; Neumeyer, C.; Ono, M.; Park, J.-K.; Sabbagh, S.A.; Soukhanovskii, V.; Valanju, P.; Woolley, R.
A Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) could play an important role in the development of fusion energy by providing the nuclear environment needed to develop fusion materials and components. The spherical torus/tokamak (ST) is a leading candidate for an FNSF due to its potentially high neutron wall loading and modular configuration. A key consideration for the choice of FNSF configuration is the range of achievable missions as a function of device size. Possible missions include: providing high neutron wall loading and fluence, demonstrating tritium self-sufficiency, and demonstrating electrical self-sufficiency. All of these missions must also be compatible with a viable divertor, first-wall, and blanket solution. ST-FNSF configurations have been developed simultaneously incorporating for the first time: (1) a blanket system capable of tritium breeding ratio TBR approximately 1, (2) a poloidal field coil set supporting high elongation and triangularity for a range of internal inductance and normalized beta values consistent with NSTX/NSTX-U previous/planned operation, (3) a long-legged divertor analogous to the MAST-U divertor which substantially reduces projected peak divertor heat-flux and has all outboard poloidal field coils outside the vacuum chamber and superconducting to reduce power consumption, and (4) a vertical maintenance scheme in which blanket structures and the centerstack can be removed independently. Progress in these ST-FNSF missions vs. configuration studies including dependence on plasma major radius R0 for a range 1m to 2.2m are described. In particular, it is found the threshold major radius for TBR = 1 is R0 greater than or equal to 1.7m, and a smaller R0=1m ST device has TBR approximately 0.9 which is below unity but substantially reduces T consumption relative to not breeding. Calculations of neutral beam heating and current drive for non-inductive ramp-up and sustainment are described. An A=2, R0=3m device incorporating high-temperature superconductor toroidal field coil magnets capable of high neutron fluence and both tritium and electrical self-sufficiency is also presented following systematic aspect ratio studies.
Kaita, R.; Lucia, M.; Allain, J. P.; Bedoya, F.; Capece, A.; Jaworski, M.; Koel, B. E.; Majeski, R.; Roszell, J.; Schmitt, J.; Scotti, F.; Skinner, C. H.; Soukhanovskii, V.
The application of lithium to plasma-facing components (PFCs) has long been used as a technique for wall conditioning in magnetic confinement devices to improve plasma performance. Determining the characteristics of PFCs at the time of exposure to the plasma, however, is difficult because they can only be analyzed after venting the vacuum vessel and removing them at the end of an operational period. The Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) addresses this problem by enabling PFC samples to be exposed to plasmas, and then withdrawn into an analysis chamber without breaking vacuum. The MAPP system was used to introduce samples that matched the metallic PFCs of the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX). Lithium that was subsequently evaporated onto the walls also covered the MAPP samples, which were then subject to LTX discharges. In vacuo extraction and analysis of the samples indicated that lithium oxide formed on the PFCs, but improved plasma performance persisted in LTX. The reduced recycling this suggests is consistent with separate surface science experiments that demonstrated deuterium retention in the presence of lithium oxide films. Since oxygen decreases the thermal stability of the deuterium in the film, the release of deuterium was observed below the lithium deuteride dissociation temperature. This may explain what occurred when lithium was applied to the surface of the NSTX Liquid Lithium Divertor (LLD). The LLD had segments with individual heaters, and the deuterium-alpha emission was clearly lower in the cooler regions. The plan for NSTX-U is to replace the graphite tiles with high-Z PFCs, and apply lithium to their surfaces with lithium evaporation. Experiments with lithium coatings on such PFCs suggest that deuterium could still be retained if lithium compounds form, but limiting their surface temperatures may be necessary.
A real-time velocity (RTV) diagnostic based on active charge-exchange recombination spectroscopy is now operational on the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) spherical torus (Menard et al 2012 Nucl. Fusion 52 083015). The system has been designed to supply plasma velocity data in real time to the NSTX-U plasma control system, as required for the implementation of toroidal rotation control. Measurements are available from four radii at a maximum sampling frequency of 5 kHz. Post-discharge analysis of RTV data provides additional information on ion temperature, toroidal velocity and density of carbon impurities. Examples of physics studies enabled by RTV measurements from initial operations of NSTX-U are discussed.
Myers, Clayton; Yamada, Masaaki; Ji, Hantao; Yoo, Jongsoo; Jara-Almonte, Jonathan; Fox, William
The loss-of-equilibrium is a solar eruption mechanism whereby a sudden breakdown of the magnetohydrodynamic force balance in the Sun's corona ejects a massive burst of particles and energy into the heliosphere. Predicting a loss-of-equilibrium, which has more recently been formulated as the torus instability, relies on a detailed understanding of the various forces that hold the pre-eruption magnetic flux rope in equilibrium. Traditionally, idealized analytical force expressions are used to derive simplified eruption criteria that can be compared to solar observations and modeling. What is missing, however, is a validation that these idealized analytical force expressions can be applied to the line-tied, low-aspect-ratio conditions of the corona. In this paper, we address this shortcoming by using a laboratory experiment to study the forces that act on long-lived, arched, line-tied magnetic flux ropes. Three key force terms are evaluated over a wide range of experimental conditions: (1) the upward hoop force; (2) the downward strapping force; and (3) the downward toroidal field tension force. First, the laboratory force measurements show that, on average, the three aforementioned force terms cancel to produce a balanced line-tied equilibrium. This finding validates the laboratory force measurement techniques developed here, which were recently used to identify a dynamic toroidal field tension force that can prevent flux rope eruptions [Myers et al., Nature 528, 526 (2015)]. The verification of magnetic force balance also confirms the low-beta assumption that the plasma thermal pressure is negligible in these experiments. Next, the measured force terms are directly compared to their corresponding analytical expressions. While the measured and analytical forces are found to be well correlated, the low-aspect-ratio, line-tied conditions in the experiment are found to both reduce the measured hoop force and increase the measured tension force with respect to analytical expectations. These two co-directed effects combine to generate laboratory flux rope equilibria at lower altitudes than are predicted analytically. Such considerations are expected to modify the loss-of-equilibrium eruption criteria for analogous flux ropes in the solar corona.
A large-volume flux closure during transient coaxial helicity injection (CHI) in NSTX-U
is demonstrated through resistive magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations. Several
major improvements, including the improved positioning of the divertor poloidal field coils, are projected to improve the CHI start-up phase in NSTX-U. Simulations in the NSTX-U configuration with constant in time coil currents show that with strong flux shaping the injected open field lines (injector flux) rapidly reconnect and form large volume of closed flux surfaces. This is achieved by driving parallel current in the injector flux coil and oppositely directed currents in the flux shaping coils to form a narrow injector flux footprint and push the injector flux into the vessel. As the helicity and plasma are injected into the device, the oppositely directed field lines in the injector region are forced to reconnect through a local Sweet–Parker type reconnection, or to spontaneously reconnect when the elongated current sheet becomes MHD unstable to form plasmoids. In these simulations for the first time, it is found that the closed flux is over 70% of the initial injector flux used to initiate the discharge. These results could work well for the application of transient CHI in devices that employ super conducting coils to generate and sustain the plasma equilibrium.
Coury, M.; Guttenfelder, W.; Mikkelsen, D.; Canik, J.; Canal, G.; Diallo, A.; Kaye, S.; Kramer, G.; Maingi, R.
Linear (local) gyrokinetic predictions of edge microinstabilities in highly shaped, lithiated and non-lihiated NSTX discharges are reported using the gyrokinetic code GS2. Microtearing modes dominate the non-lithiated pedestal top. The stabilization of these modes at the lithiated pedestal top enables the electron temperature pedestal to extend further inwards, as observed experimentally. Kinetic ballooning modes are found to be unstable mainly at the mid-pedestal of both types of discharges, with unstable trapped electron modes nearer the separatrix region. At electron wavelengths, ETG modes are found to be unstable from mid-pedestal outwards for eta(e,exp)~2.2, with higher growth rates for the lithiated discharge. Near the separatrix, the critical temperature gradient for driving ETG modes is reduced in the presence of lithium, reflecting the reduction of the lithiated density gradients observed experimentally. A preliminary linear study in the edge of non-lithiated discharges shows that the equilibrium shaping alters the electrostatic modes stability, found more unstable at high plasma shaping.
NSTX-U research will offer new insight by studying gas assimilation efficiencies for MGI injection from different poloidal locations using identical gas injection systems. In support of this activity, an electromagnetic MGI valve has been built and tested. The valve operates by repelling two conductive disks due to eddy currents induced on them by a rapidly changing magnetic field created by a pancake disk solenoid positioned beneath the circular disk attached to a piston. The current is driven in opposite directions in the two solenoids, which creates a cancelling torque when the valve is operated in an ambient magnetic field, as would be required in a tokamak installation. The valve does not use ferromagnetic materials. Results from the operation of the valve, including tests conducted in 1 T external magnetic fields, are described. The pressure rise in the test chamber is measured directly using a fast time response baratron gauge. At a plenum pressure of just 1.38 MPa (~200 psig), the valve injects 27 Pa.m^3 (~200 Torr.L) of nitrogen with a pressure rise time of 3 ms.