R. Burhenn, Y. Feng, K. Ida, D. Kalinina, H. Maassberg, K.J. McCarthy, S. Morita, Y. Nakamura, H. Nozato, S. Okamura, S. Sudo, C. Suzuki, N. Tamura, A. Weller, M. Yoshinuma, B. Zurro


On Impurity Handling in High Performance Stellarator/Heliotron Plasmas

Date of publication:

Oct. 2008

Key words:

21 IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, EX/P4-26


The Large Helical Device (LHD) and Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X, under construction) are experiments specially designed to demonstrate long pulse (quasi steady-state) operation, which is an intrinsic property of Stellarators and Heliotrons. Significant progress was made in establishment of high performance plasmas. A crucial point is the increasing impurity confinement towards high density as observed at several machines (TJ-II, W7-AS, LHD) which can lead to impurity accumulation and early pulse termination by radiation collapse at high density. In addition, theoretical predictions for non-axisymmetric configurations prognosticate the absence of impurity screening by ion temperature gradients in standard ion root plasmas. Nevertheless, scenarios were found where impurity accumulation was successfully avoided in LHD and/or W7-AS by the onset of drag forces in the high density and low temperature scrape-off-layer, the generation of magnetic islands at the plasma boundary and to a certain degree also by ELMs, flushing out impurities and reducing the net-impurity influx into the core. Additionally, a reduction of impurity core confinement was observed in the W7-AS High Density Hmode (HDH) regime and by application of sufficient ECRH heating power. The exploration of such purification mechanisms is a demanding task for successful steady-state operation. The impurity transport at the plasma edge/SOL was identified to play a major role for the global impurity behaviour in addition to the core confinement.

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