Infoscience

Journal article

Saturated ideal modes in advanced tokamak regimes in MAST

MAST plasmas with a safety factor above unity and a profile with either weakly reversed shear or broad low-shear regions, regularly exhibit long-lived saturated ideal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities. The toroidal rotation is flattened in the presence of such perturbations and the fast ion losses are enhanced. These ideal modes, distinguished as such by the notable lack of islands or signs of reconnection, are driven unstable as the safety factor approaches unity. This could be of significance for advanced scenarios, or hybrid scenarios which aim to keep the safety factor just above rational surfaces associated with deleterious resistive MHD instabilities, especially in spherical tokamaks which are more susceptible to such ideal internal modes. The role of rotation, fast ions and ion diamagnetic effects in determining the marginal mode stability is discussed, as well as the role of instabilities with higher toroidal mode numbers as the safety factor evolves to lower values.

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