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Overview of Results from the Large Helical Device
Date of publication:
22 IAEA Fusion Energy Conference, OV/2-5
The physical understanding of net-current free helical plasmas has progressed in the Large Helical Device (LHD) since the last Fusion Energy Conference in Geneva, 2008. The experimental results from LHD have promoted detailed physical documentation of features specific to net-current-free 3-D helical plasmas as well as complementary to the tokamak approach. The primary heating source is NBI with a heating power of 23 MW, and ECH with 3.7 MW plays an important role in local heating and power modulation in transport studies. The maximum central density has reached 1.2 ¡ß 10^21 m^-3 due to the formation of an Internal Diffusion Barrier (IDB) at the magnetic field of 2.5 T. The IDB has been maintained for 3 s by refueling with repetitive pellet injection. The plasma with a central ion temperature reaching 5.6 keV exhibits the formation of an Internal Transport Barrier (ITB). The ion thermal diffusivity decreases to the level predicted by neoclassical transport. This ITB is accompanied by spontaneous toroidal rotation and an Impurity Hole which generates an impurity-free core. Impurity Hole is due to a large outward convection of impurities in spite of the negative radial electric field. The magnitude of the Impurity Hole is enhanced in the magnetic configuration with larger helical ripple and for higher Z impurities. Another mechanism to suppress impurity contamination has been identified at the plasma edge with a stochastic magnetic field. A helical system shares common physics issues with tokamaks such as 3-D equilibria, transport in a stochastic magnetic field, plasma response to a Resonant Magnetic Perturbation (RMP), divertor physics, and the role of radial electric field and meso-scale structure.
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