R. Kumazawa, T. Mutoh, K. Saito, T. Seki, H. Kasahara, S. Masuzaki, N. Ashikawa, M. Tokitani, N. Tamura, Y. Nakamura, S. Kubo, T. Shimozuma, Y. Yoshimura, H. Igami, H. Takahashi, Y. Takeiri, K. Tsumori, M. Osakabe, K. Ikeda, K. Nagaoka, O. Kaneko, M. Goto, K. Sato, H. Chikaraishi, Y. Zhao, J.G. Kwak, J.S. Yoon, H. Yamada, K. Kawahata, N. Ohyabu, K. Ida, Y. Nagayama, A. Komori, S. Sudo, O. Motojima and LHD experiment group
Progress towards RF Heated Steady-State Plasma Operations on LHD by Employing ICRF Heating Methods and Improved Divertor Plates
Date of publication:
21 IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, EX/P6-29
A long pulse plasma discharge experiment was carried out using RF heating power in the Large Helical Device (LHD), a currentless magnetic confining system. Progress in long pulse operation is summarized since the 10^th experimental campaign (2006). A scaling relation of the plasma duration time to the applied RF power has been derived from the experimental data so far collected. It indicates that there exists a critical divertor temperature and consequently a critical RF heating power P_RFcrit t=0.65MW. The area on the graph of the duration time versus the RF heating power was extended over the scaling relation by replacing divertor plates with new ones with better heat conductivity. The cause of the plasma collapse at the end of the long pulse operation was found to be the penetration of metal impurities. Many thin flakes consisting of heavy metals and graphite in stratified layers were found on the divertor plates and it was thought that they were the cause of impurity metals penetrating into the plasma. In a simulation involving injecting a graphite-coated Fe pellet to the plasma it was found that 230 m in the diameter of the Fe pellet sphere was the critical size which led the plasma to collapse. A mode-conversion heating method was examined in place of the minority ICRF heating which has been employed in almost all the long-pulse plasma discharges. It was found that this method was much better from the viewpoint of achieving uniformity of the plasma heat load to the divertors. It is expected that P_RFcrit will be increased by using the mode-conversion heating method.