Development of steady-state scenarios compatible with ITER-like wall conditions
A key issue for steady-state tokamak operation is to determine the edge conditions that are compatible both with good core confinement and with the power handling and plasma exhaust capabilities of the plasma facing components (PFCs) and divertor systems. A quantitative response to this open question will provide a robust scientific basis for reliable extrapolation of present regimes to an ITER compatible steady-state scenario. In this context, the JET programme addressing steady-state operation is focused on the development of non-inductive, high confinement plasmas with the constraints imposed by the PFCs. A new beryllium main chamber wall and tungsten divertor together with an upgrade of the heating/fuelling capability are currently in preparation at JET. Operation at higher power with this ITER-like wall will impose new constraints on non-inductive scenarios. Recent experiments have focused on the preparation for this new phase of JET operation. In this paper, progress in the development of advanced tokamak (AT) scenarios at JET is reviewed keeping this long-term objective in mind. The approach has consisted of addressing various critical issues separately during the 2006-2007 campaigns with a view to full scenario integration when the JET upgrades are complete. Regimes with internal transport barriers (ITBs) have been developed at q(95) similar to 5 and high triangularity, 3 (relevant to the ITER steady-state demonstration) by applying more than 30 MW of additional heating power reaching beta(N) similar to 2 at B-o similar to 3.1 T. Operating at higher 6 has allowed the edge pedestal and core densities to be increased pushing the ion temperature closer to that of the electrons. Although not yet fully integrated into a performance enhancing ITB scenario, Neon seeding has been successfully explored to increase the radiated power fraction (up to 60%), providing significant reduction of target tile power fluxes (and hence temperatures) and mitigation of edge localized mode (ELM) activity. At reduced toroidal magnetic field strength, high beta(N) regimes have been achieved and q-profile optimization investigated for use in steady-state scenarios. Values of beta(N) above the 'no-wall magnetohydrodynamic limit' (beta(N) similar to 3.0) have been sustained for a resistive current diffusion time in high-delta configurations (at 1.2 MA/1.8 T). In this scenario, ELM activity has been mitigated by applying magnetic perturbations using error field correction coils to provide ergodization of the magnetic field at the plasma edge. In a highly shaped, quasi-double null X-point configuration, ITBs have been generated on the ion heat transport channel and combined with 'grassy' ELMs with similar to 30 MW of applied heating power (at 1.2 MA/2.7 T, q(95) similar to 7). Advanced algorithms and system identification procedures have been developed with a view to developing simultaneously temperature and q-profile control in real-time. These techniques have so far been applied to the control of the q-profile evolution in JET AT scenarios.