Infoscience

Thesis

Experimental and theoretical study of particle transport in the TCV tokamak

The main scope of this thesis work is to compare theoretical models with experimental observations on particle transport in particular regimes of plasma operation from the Tokamak à Configuration Variable (TCV) located at CRPP–EPFL in Lausanne. We introduce the main topics in Tokamak fusion research and the challenging problems in the first Chapter. A particular attention is devoted to the modelling of heat and particle transport. In the second Chapter the experimental part is presented, including an overview of TCV capabilities, a brief review of the relevant diagnostic systems, and a discussion of the numerical tools used to analyze the experimental data. In addition, the numerical codes that are used to interpret the experimental data and to compare them with theoretical predictions are introduced. The third Chapter deals with the problem of understanding the mechanisms that regulate the transport of energy in TCV plasmas, in particular in the electron Internal Transport Barrier (eITB) scenario. A radial transport code, integrated with an external module for the calculation of the turbulence-induced transport coefficients, is employed to reproduce the experimental scenario and to understand the physics at play. It is shown how the sustainment of an improved confinement regime is linked to the presence of a reversed safety factor profile. The improvement of confinement in the eITB regime is visible in the energy channel and in the particle channel as well. The density profile shows strong correlation with the temperature profile and has a large local logarithmic gradient. This is an important result obtained from the TCV eITB scenario analysis and is presented in the fourth Chapter. In the same chapter we present the estimate of the particle diffusion and convection coefficients obtained from density transient experiments performed in the eITB scenario. The theoretical understanding of the strong correlation between density and temperature observed in the eITB is detailed in the fifth Chapter. Being the main topic of this work, it is given more space to introduce the basic theory and to compare the simulation results with the experimental data. Impurity transport constitutes the topic of the sixth Chapter, where we demonstrate the physical mechanisms that can sustain a peaked carbon density profile in TCV L-mode plasmas. Finally, the seventh Chapter summarizes the work done with conclusions and a discussion of the possibilities to further improve the results.

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