Transient heat loads in current fusion experiments, extrapolation to ITER and consequences for its operation
New experimental results on transient loads during ELMs and disruptions in present divertor tokamaks are described and used to carry out a extrapolation to ITER reference conditions and to draw consequences for its operation. In particular, the achievement of low energy) convective type I edge localized modes ( ELMs) in ITER-like plasma conditions seems the only way to obtain transient loads which may be compatible with an acceptable erosion lifetime of plasma facing components (PFCs) in ITER. Power loads during disruptions, on the contrary, seem to lead in most cases to an acceptable divertor lifetime because of the relatively small plasma thermal energy remaining at the thermal quench and the large broadening of the power flux footprint during this phase. These conclusions are reinforced by calculations of the expected erosion lifetime, under these load conditions, which take into account a realistic temporal dependence of the power fluxes on PFCs during ELMs and disruptions.