Journal article

Lower Hybrid Current Drive in Tore Supra and Jet

Moreau, D.; Gormezano, C.; Agarici, G.; Agostini, E.; Ane, J. M.; Auge, N.; Balme, S.; Basiuk, V.; Bareyt, B.; Bayetti, P.

Recent Lower Hybrid Current Drive (LHCD) experiments in TORE SUPRA and JET are reported. Large multijunction launchers have allowed the coupling of 5 MW to the plasma for several seconds with a maximum of 3.8 kw/cm2. Measurements of the scattering matrices of the antennae show good agreement with theory. The current drive efficiency in TORE SUPRA is about 0.2 x 10(20) Am-2/W with LH power alone and reaches 0.4 x 10(20) Am-2/W in JET thanks to a high volume-averaged electron temperature (1.9 keV) and also to a synergy between Lower Hybrid and Fast Magnetosonic Waves. At N(e)BAR = 1.5 x 10(19) m-3 in TORE SUPRA, sawteeth are suppressed and m = 1 MHD oscillations the frequency of which clearly depends on the amount of LH power are observed on soft x-rays, and also on non-thermal ECE. In JET ICRH produced sawtooth-free periods are extended by the application of LHCD (2.9 s. with 4 MW ICRH) and current profile broadening has been clearly observed consistent with off-axis fast electron populations. LH power modulation experiments performed in TORE SUPRA at N(e)BAR = 4 x 10(19) m-3 show a delayed central electron heating despite the off-axis creation of suprathermal electrons, thus ruling out the possibility of a direct heating through central wave absorption. A possible explanation in terms of anomlous fast electron transport and classical slowing down would yield a diffusion coefficient of the order of 10 m2/s for the fast electrons. Other interpretations such as an anomalous heat pinch or a central confinement enhancement cannot be excluded. Finally, successful pellet fuelling of a partially LH driven plasma was obtained in TORE SUPRA, 28 successive pellets allowing the density to rise to N(e)BAR = 4 x 10(19) m-3. This could be achieved by switching the LH power off for 90 ms before each pellet injection, i.e. without modifying significantly the current density profile.


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