Journal article

NBI fast ion confinement in the helical core of MAST hybrid-like plasmas

Energetic ions are found to be transported strongly from the core of MAST hybrid-like plasmas during long-lived mode (LLM) magnetohydrodynamic activity. The resulting impact on the neutral beam ion deposition and concurrent current drive is modelled using the guiding-centre approximation in the internal kinked magnetic topology. General coordinate guiding-centre equations are extended for this purpose. It is found that the kinked core spirals around the position of strongest ionization, which remains geometrically centred, so that a large fraction of the population is deposited in the high shear external region where the plasma is almost axisymmetric. Those particles ionized in the low shear region exhibit exotic drift motion due to the strongly non-axisymmetric equilibrium, periodically passing near the magnetic axis and then reflected by the boundary of the kinked equilibrium, which in this respect acts as a confining pinch. Broad agreement is found against experimental measurement of fast ion particle confinement degradation as the MAST LLM amplitude varies.


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