Journal article

Predictions on heat transport and plasma rotation from global gyrokinetic simulations

Flux-driven global gyrokinetic codes are now mature enough to make predictions in terms of turbulence and transport in tokamak plasmas. Some of the recent breakthroughs of three such codes, namely GYSELA, ORB5 and XGC1, are reported and compared wherever appropriate. In all three codes, turbulent transport appears to be mediated by avalanche-like events, for a broad range of rho(*) = rho(i)/a values, ratio of the gyro-radius over the minor radius. Still, the radial correlation length scales with rho(i), leading to the gyro-Bohm scaling of the effective transport coefficient below rho(*) approximate to 1/300. The possible explanation could be due to the fact that avalanches remain meso-scale due to the interaction with zonal flows, whose characteristic radial wavelength appears to be almost independent of the system size. As a result of the radial corrugation of the turbulence driven zonal and mean flows, the shear of the radial electric field can be significantly underestimated if poloidal rotation is assumed to be governed by the neoclassical theory, especially at low collisionality. Indeed, the turbulence contribution to the poloidal rotation increases when collisionality decreases. Finally, the numerical verification of toroidal momentum balance shows that both neoclassical and turbulent contributions to the Reynolds' stress tensor play the dominant role. The phase space analysis further reveals that barely passing supra-thermal particles mostly contribute to the toroidal flow generation, consistently with quasi-linear predictions.


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