Infoscience

Conference paper

Progress and Scientific Results in the TCV Tokamak

The TCV tokamak has the dual mission of supporting ITER and exploring alternative paths to a fusion reactor. Its most unique tools are a 4.5 MW electron cyclotron resonance heating system with seven real-time controllable launchers and a plasma control system with 16 independent shaping coils. Recent upgrades in temperature, density and rotation diagnostics are being followed by new turbulence and suprathermal electron diagnostics, and a new digital real-time network has been commissioned. The shape control flexibility of TCV has enabled the generation and control of the first 'snowflake' divertor, characterized by a null point in which both the poloidal field and its gradient vanish. The predicted increases in flux expansion and edge magnetic shear have been verified experimentally, and stable EC-heated snowflake ELMy H-modes have been obtained and characterized. ECCD modulation techniques have been used to study the role of the current profile in energy transport, and simulations reproduce the results robustly. The relation between impurity and electron density gradients in L-mode is explained in terms of neoclassical and turbulent drives. Studies of torqueless plasma rotation have continued, highlighting the important role of MHD and sawtooth relaxations in determining the rotation profiles. A newly predicted mechanism for turbulent momentum transport associated with up-down plasma asymmetry has been verified in TCV. Sawtooth period control, neoclassical tearing mode control and soft x-ray emission profile control have been demonstrated in TCV using the new digital control hardware, as a step on the way to more complex applications.

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