A scintillator type fast ion loss detector measures the gyroradius and pitch angle distribution of superthermal ions escaping from a magnetically confined fusion plasma at a single location. Described here is a technique for optimizing the angular orientation of such a detector in an axisymmetric tokamak geometry in order to intercept losses over a useful and interesting ranges of pitch angle. The method consists of evaluating the detector acceptance as a function of the fast ion constants of motion, i.e. energy, canonical toroidal momentum, and magnetic moment. The detector acceptance can then be plotted in a plane of constant energy and compared with the relevant orbit class boundaries and fast ion source distributions. Knowledge of expected or interesting mechanisms of loss can further guide selection of the detector orientation. The example of a fast ion loss detector for the National Spherical Torus Experiment-Upgrade (NSTX-U) is considered.
The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) has undergone a major upgrade, and the NSTX Upgrade (NSTX-U) Project was completed in the summer of 2015. NSTX-U first plasma was subsequently achieved, diagnostic and control systems have been commissioned, H-Mode accessed, magnetic error fields identified and mitigated, and the first physics research campaign carried out. During 10 run weeks of operation, NSTX-U surpassed NSTX-record pulse-durations and toroidal fields, and high-performance ~1MA H-mode plasmas comparable to the best of NSTX have been sustained near and slightly above the n=1 no-wall stability limit and with H-mode confinement multiplier H98y2 above 1. Transport and turbulence studies in L-mode plasmas have identified the coexistence of at least two ion-gyro-scale turbulent micro-instabilities near the same radial location but propagating in opposite (i.e. ion and electron diamagnetic) directions. These modes have the characteristics of ion-temperature gradient and micro-tearing modes, respectively, and the role of these modes in contributing to thermal transport is under active investigation. The new second more tangential neutral beam injection was observed to significantly modify the stability of two types of Alfven Eigenmodes. Improvements in offline disruption forecasting were made in the areas of identification of rotating MHD modes and other macroscopic instabilities using the Disruption Event Characterization and Forecasting (DECAF) code. Lastly, the Materials Analysis and Particle Probe (MAPP) was utilized on NSTX-U for the first time and enabled assessments of the correlation between boronized wall conditions and plasma performance. These and other highlights from the first run campaign of NSTX-U are described.
In one popular description of the L-H transition, energy transfer to the mean flows directly depletes turbulence fluctuation energy, resulting in suppression of the turbulence and a corresponding transport bifurcation. However, electron parallel force balance couples nonzonal velocity fluctuations with electron pressure fluctuations on rapid timescales, comparable with the electron transit time. For this reason, energy in the nonzonal velocity stays in a fairly fixed ratio to the free energy in electron density fluctuations, at least for frequency scales much slower than electron transit. In order for direct depletion of the energy in turbulent fluctuations to cause the L-H transition, energy transfer via Reynolds stress must therefore drain enough energy to significantly reduce the sum of the free energy in nonzonal velocities and electron pressure fluctuations. At low k, the electron thermal free energy is much larger than the energy in nonzonal velocities, posing a stark challenge for this model of the L-H transition.
Non-axisymmetric magnetic fields arising in a tokamak either by external or internal perturbations can induce complex non-ideal MHD responses in their resonant surfaces while remaining ideally evolved elsewhere. This layer response can be characterized in a linear regime by a single parameter called the inner-layer Delta, which enables outer-layer matching and the prediction of torque balance to non-linear island regimes. Here, we follow strictly one of the most comprehensive analytic treatments including two-fluid and drift MHD effects and keep the fidelity of the formulation by incorporating the numerical method based on the Riccati transformation when quantifying the inner-layer Delta. The proposed scheme reproduces not only the predicted responses in essentially all asymptotic regimes but also with continuous transitions as well as improved accuracies. In particular, the Delta variations across the inertial regimes with viscous or semi-collisional effects have been further resolved, in comparison with additional analytic solutions. The results imply greater shielding of the electromagnetic torque at the layer than what would be expected by earlier work when the viscous or semi-collisional effects can compete against the inertial effects, and also due to the intermediate regulation by kinetic Alfven wave resonances as rotation slows down. These are important features that can alter the nonaxisymmetric plasma responses including the field penetration by external fields or island seeding process in rotating tokamak plasmas.
Schwartz, Jacob; Emdee, Eric; Goldston, Robert; Jaworski, Michael
The lithium vapor box divertor is a potential solution for power exhaust in toroidal confinement devices. The divertor plasma interacts with a localized, dense cloud of lithium vapor, leading to volumetric radiation, cooling, recombination, and detachment. To minimize contamination of the core plasma, lithium vapor is condensed on cool (300°C to 400°C) baffles upstream of the detachment point. Before implementing this in a toroidal plasma device with a slot divertor geometry, we consider an experiment with a scaled baffled-pipe geometry in the high-power linear plasma device Magnum-PSI. Three 15 cm-scale open cylinders joined by 6 cm diameter ‘nozzles’ are positioned on the plasma beam axis upstream of a target. The central box may be loaded with several tens of grams of lithium, which can be evaporated at 650°C to produce a vapor predicted, using a simple plasma-neutral interaction model, to be dense enough to cause volumetric detachment in the plasma. The power delivered to the target and box walls as measured by increases in their temperatures after a 10 s plasma pulse can be compared to determine the effectiveness of the vapor in detaching the plasma. Direct Simulation Monte Carlo simulations are performed to estimate the flow rates of lithium vapor between the boxes and to estimate the trapping of H2 delivered by the plasma in the boxes, which could inadvertently lead to detachment. Details of the geometry, simulations, and possible diagnostic techniques are presented.
Liquid metal can create a renewable protective surface on plasma facing components (PFC), with an additional advantage of deuterium pumping and the prospect of tritium extraction if liquid lithium (LL) is used and maintained below 450 C, the temperature above which LL vapor pressure begins to contaminate the plasma. LM can also be utilized as an efficient coolant, driven by the Lorentz force created with the help of the magnetic field in fusion devices. Capillary porous systems can serve as a conduit of LM and simultaneously provide stabilization of the LM flow, protecting against spills into the plasma. Recently a combination of a fast-flowing LM cooling system with a porous plasma facing wall (CPSF) was investigated [Khodak and Maingi (2021)]. The system takes an advantage of a magnetohydrodynamics velocity profile, as well as attractive LM properties to promote efficient heat transfer from the plasma to the LL at low pumping energy cost, relative to the incident heat flux on the PFC. In case of a disruption leading to excessive heat flux from the plasma to the LM PFCs, LL evaporation can stabilize the PFC surface temperature, due to high evaporation heat and apparent vapor shielding. The proposed CPSF was optimized analytically for the conditions of a Fusion Nuclear Science Facility [Kessel et al. (2019)]: 10T toroidal field and 10 MW/m2 peak incident heat flux. Computational fluid dynamics analysis confirmed that a CPSF system with 2.5 mm square channels can pump enough LL so that no additional coolant is needed.
The upgrade to the National Spherical Torus eXperiment (NSTX-U) included two main improvements: a larger center-stack, enabling higher toroidal field and longer pulse duration, and the addition of three new tangentially aimed neutral beam sources, which increase available heating and current drive, and allow for flexibility in shaping power, torque, current, and particle deposition profiles. To best use these new capabilities and meet the high-performance operational goals of NSTX-U, major upgrades to the NSTX-U Control System (NCS) hardware and software have been made. Several control algorithms, including those used for real-time equilibrium reconstruction and shape control, have been upgraded to improve and extend plasma control capabilities. As part of the commissioning phase of first plasma operations, the shape control system was tuned to control the boundary in both inner-wall limited and diverted discharges. It has been used to accurately track the requested evolution of the boundary (including the size of the inner gap between the plasma and central solenoid, which is a challenge for the ST configuration), X-point locations, and strike point locations, enabling repeatable discharge evolutions for scenario development and diagnostic commissioning.