Effects of global MHD instability on operational high beta-regime in LHD
In the Large Helical Device (LHD), the highest operational averaged beta value has been expanded from 3.2% to 4% in the last 2 years by increasing the heating capability and exploring a new magnetic configuration with a high aspect ratio. Although the magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD) stability properties are considered to be unfavourable in the new high aspect configuration, the heating efficiency due to neutral beams and the transport properties are expected to be favourable in a high-beta range. In order to clarify the effect of the global ideal MHD unstable mode on the operational regimes in helical systems, especially the beta gradients in the peripheral region and the beta value, the MHD analysis and the transport analysis are performed in a high-beta range of up to 4% in LHD. In a high-beta range of more than 3%, the maxima of the observed thermal pressure gradients at a low order rational magnetic surface in the peripheral region are marginally unstable to the low-mode-number ideal MHD instability. Though a gradual degradation of the local transport in the region has been observed as beta increases, a disruptive degradation of the local transport does not appear in the beta range up to 4%.