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Steady-state fully noninductive operation with electron cyclotron current drive and current profile control in the tokamak a configuration variable (TCV)

Fully noninductive, steady-state electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) has been demonstrated for the first time in experiments carried out in the tokamak a configuration variable (TCV) [O. Sauter , Phys. Rev. Lett. 84, 3322 (2000)]. By appropriately distributing six 0.45 MW ECCD sources over the discharge cross section, fully noninductive, stable, and stationary plasmas with I-p up to 210 kA were obtained for the full discharge duration of 1.9 s, corresponding to more than 900 energy confinement times and more than 10 current redistribution times at an average current drive efficiency eta (20CD)=0.01[10(20) A W-1 m(-2)]. These experiments have also demonstrated for the first time the steady recharging of the ohmic transformer using ECCD only. The effect of localized off-axis electron cyclotron heating (ECH) and EC current drive (ECCD) (co- and counter-) is investigated showing that locally driven currents amounting to only 1% of I-p significantly alter sawtooth periods and crash amplitudes. An improved quasi-stationary core confinement regime, with little or no sawtooth activity, has been obtained by a combination of off-axis ECH and on-axis CNTR-ECCD. (C) 2001 American Institute of Physics.

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