First measurements on the core and edge isotope composition using the JET isotope separator neutral particle analyser
Direct measurements of tokamak plasmas isotope composition are in general quite difficult and have therefore been very seldom performed. On the other hand, the importance of this measurement is going to increase, as future experiments will be progressively focused on plasmas approaching reactor conditions. In this paper, we report for the first time encouraging experimental evidence supporting a new method to determine the radial profile of the density ratio n(H)/(n(H) + n(D)), based on neutral particle analyser (NPA) measurements. The measurements have been performed in JET with the ISotope SEParator (ISEP), a NPA device specifically developed to measure the energy spectra of the three hydrogen isotopes with very high accuracy and low cross-talk. The data presented here have been collected in two different experimental conditions. In the first case, the density ratio has been kept constant during the discharge. The isotope ratio derived from the ISEP has been compared with the results of visible spectroscopy at the edge and with the isotope composition derived from an Alfven eigenmodes active diagnostic (AEAD) system at about half the minor radius for the discharges reported in this paper. A preliminary evaluation of the additional heating effects on the measurements has also been carried out. In the second set of experiments, the isotope composition of deuterium plasmas has been abruptly changed with suitable short blips of hydrogen, in order to assess the capability of the method to study the transport of the hydrogen isotope species. Future developments of the methodology and its applications to the evaluation of hydrogen transport coefficients are also briefly discussed. The results obtained so far motivate further development of the technique, which constitutes one of the few candidate diagnostic approaches viable for ITER.