Journal article

Material erosion and migration in tokamaks

The issue of first wall and divertor target lifetime represents one of the greatest challenges facing the successful demonstration of integrated tokamak burning plasma operation, even in the case of the planned next step device, ITER, which will run at a relatively low duty cycle in comparison to future fusion power plants. Material erosion by continuous or transient plasma ion and neutral impact, the susbsequent transport of the released impurities through and by the plasma and their deposition and/or eventual re-erosion constitute the process of migration. Its importance is now recognized by a concerted research effort throughout the international tokamak community, comprising a wide variety of devices with differing plasma configurations, sizes and plasmafacing component material. No single device, however, operates with the first wall material mix currently envisaged for ITER, and all are far from the ITER energy throughput and divertor particle fluxes and fluences. This paper aims to review the basic components of material erosion and migration in tokamaks, illustrating each by way of examples from current research and attempting to place them in the context of the next step device. Plans for testing an ITER-like first wall material mix on the JET tokamak will also be briefly outlined.


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