Status of and prospects for advanced tokamak regimes from multi-machine comparisons using the 'International Tokamak Physics Activity' database
Advanced tokamak regimes obtained in ASDEX Upgrade, DIII-D, FF-U, JET, JT-60U, TCV and Tore Supra experiments are assessed both in terms of their fusion performance and capability for ultimately reaching steady-state using data from the international internal transport barrier database. These advanced modes of tokamak operation are characterized by an improved core confinement and a modified current profile compared to the relaxed Ohmically driven one. The present results obtained in these experiments are studied in view of their prospect for achieving either long pulses ('hybrid' scenario with inductive and non-inductive current drive) or ultimately steady-state purely non-inductive current drive operation in next step devices such as ITER. A new operational diagram for advanced tokamak operation is proposed where the figure of merit characterizing the fusion performances and confinement, H X beta(N)/q(95)(2), is drawn versus the fraction of the plasma current driven by the bootstrap effect. In this diagram, present day advanced tokamak regimes have now reached an operational domain that is required in the non-inductive ITER current drive operation with typically 50% of the plasma current driven by the bootstrap effect (Green et al 2003 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 45 587). In addition, the existence domain of the advanced mode regimes is also mapped in terms of dimensionless plasmas physics quantities such as normalized Larmor radius, normalized collisionality, Mach number and ratio of ion to electron temperature. The gap between present day and future advanced tokamak experiments is quantitatively assessed in terms of these dimensionless parameters.