A 3-D MHD equilibrium description of nonlinearly saturated ideal external kink/peeling structures in tokamaks
Novel free boundary magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium states with spontaneous three-dimensional (3-D) deformations of the plasma vacuum interface are computed. The structures obtained look like saturated ideal external kink/peeling modes. Large edge pressure gradients yield toroidal mode number n = 1 distortions when the edge bootstrap current is large and higher n corrugations when this current is small Linear ideal MHD stability analyses confirm the nonlinear saturated ideal kink equilibrium states produced and we can identify the Pfirsch-Schluter current as the main linear instability driving mechanism when the edge pressure gradient is large. The dominant non-axisymmetric component of this Pfirsch-Schluter current drives a near resonant helical parallel current density ribbon that aligns with the near vanishing magnetic shear region caused by the edge bootstrap current. This current ribbon is a manifestation of the outer mode previously found on JET (Solano 2010). We claim that the equilibrium corrugations describe structures that are commonly observed in quiescent H-mode tokamak discharges.