Using a recently installed impurity powder dropper (IPD), boron powder (< 150 μm) was injected into lower single null (LSN) L-mode discharges in WEST. IPDs possibly enable real-time wall conditioning of the plasma-facing components and may help to facilitate H-mode access in the full-tungsten environment of WEST. The discharges in this experiment featured Ip = 0.5 MA, BT = 3.7 T, q95 = 4.3, tpulse = 12–30 s, ne,0 ~ 4×1019 m-2, and PLHCD ~ 4.5 MW. Estimates of the deuterium and impurity particle fluxes, derived from a combination of visible spectroscopy measurements and their corresponding S/XB coefficients, showed decreases of ~ 50% in O+, N+, and C+ populations during powder injection and a moderate reduction of these low-Z impurities (~ 50%) and W (~ 10%) in the discharges that followed powder injection. Along with the improved wall conditions, WEST discharges with B powder injection observed improved confinement, as the stored energy WMHD, neutron rate, and electron temperature Te increased significantly (10–25% for WMHD and 60–200% for the neutron rate) at constant input power. These increases in confinement scale up with the powder drop rate and are likely due to the suppression of ion temperature gradient (ITG) turbulence from changes in Zeff and/or modifications to the electron density profile.
Boronization is commonly utilized in tokamaks to suppress intrinsic impurities, most notably oxygen from residual water vapor. However, this is a temporary solution, as oxygen levels typically return to pre-boronization levels following repeated plasma exposure. The global impurity migration model WallDYN has been applied to the post-boronization surface impurity evolution in NSTX-U. A “Thin Film Model” has been incorporated into WallDYN to handle spatially inhomogeneous conditioning films of varying thicknesses, together with an empirical boron conditioning model for the NSTX-U glow discharge boronization process. The model qualitatively reproduces the spatial distribution of boron in the NSTX-U vessel, the spatially-resolved divertor emission pattern, and the increase in oxygen levels following boronization. The simulations suggest that oxygen is primarily sourced from wall locations without heavy plasma flux or significant boron deposition, namely the lower and upper passive plates and the lower private flux zone.
Skinner, C.H.; Bedoya, F.; Scotti, F.; Allain, J.P.; Blanchard, W.; Cai, D.; Jaworski, M.; Koel, B.E.
Boronization has been effective in reducing plasma impurities and enabling access to higher density, higher confinement plasmas in many magnetic fusion devices. The National Spherical Torus eXperiment, NSTX, has recently undergone a major upgrade to NSTX-U in order to develop the physics basis for a ST-based Fusion Nuclear Science Facility (FNSF) with capability for double the toroidal field, plasma current, and NBI heating power and increased pulse duration from 1–1.5 s to 5–8 s. A new deuterated tri-methyl boron conditioning system was implemented together with a novel surface analysis diagnostic. We report on the spatial distribution of the boron deposition versus discharge pressure, gas injection and electrode location. The oxygen concentration of the plasma facing surface was measured by in-vacuo XPS and increased both with plasma exposure and with exposure to trace residual gases. This increase correlated with the rise of oxygen emission from the plasma.