Simulation of the scrape-off layer region of tokamak devices
Understanding the key processes occurring in the tokamak scrape-off layer (SOL) is becoming of the outmost importance while we enter the ITER era and we move towards the conception of future fusion reactors. By controlling the heat exhaust, by playing an important role in determining the overall plasma confinement, and by regulating the impurity level in tokamak core, the dynamics of the fusion fuel in the SOL is, in fact, related to some of the most crucial issues that the fusion program is facing today. Because of the limited diagnostic access and in view of predicting the SOL dynamics in future devices, simulations are becoming crucial to address the physics of this region. The present paper, which summarizes the lecture on SOL simulations that was given during the 7th ITER international school (August 25-29, 2014, Aix-en-Provence, France), provides a brief overview of the simulation approaches to the SOL dynamics. First, disentangling the complexity of the system, the key physics processes occurring in the SOL are described. Then, the different simulation approaches to the SOL dynamics are presented, from first-principles kinetic and fluid models, to the phenomenological analysis.