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.
We report the first successful use of lithium (Li) to eliminate edge-localized modes (ELMs) with tungsten divertor plasma-facing components in the EAST device. Li powder injected into the scrape-off layer of the tungsten upper divertor successfully eliminated ELMs for 3-5 sec in EAST. The ELM elimination became progressively more effective in consecutive discharges at constant lithium delivery rates, and the divertor D-alpha baseline emission was reduced, both signatures of improved wall conditioning. A modest decrease in stored energy and normalized energy confinement was also observed, but the confinement relative to H98 remained well above 1, extending the previous ELM elimination results via Li injection into the lower carbon divertor in EAST [J.S. Hu et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 114 (2015) 055001]. These results can be compared with recent observations with lithium pellets in ASDEX-Upgrade that failed to mitigate ELMs [P.T. Lang et al., Nucl. Fusion 57 (2017) 016030], highlighting one comparative advantage of continuous powder injection for real-time ELM elimination.