Extension of the operating space of high-beta(N) fully non-inductive scenarios on TCV using neutral beam injection

The fully non-inductive sustainment of high normalized beta plasmas (beta(N)) is a crucial challenge for the steady-state operation of a tokamak reactor. In order to assess the difficulties facing such scenarios, steady-state regimes have been explored on the tokamak a configuration variable (TCV) using the newly available 1 MW neutral beam injection (NBI) system. The operating space is extended towards plasmas that are closer to those expected in JT-60SA and ITER, i.e. with significant NBI and electron cyclotron resonance heating and current drive (ECRH/CD), bootstrap current and fast ion (FI) fraction. beta(N) values up to 1.4 and 1.7 are obtained in lower single null L-mode (H-98 (y, 2) similar to 0.8) and H-mode (H-98 (y, 2) similar to 1) plasmas, respectively, at zero time averaged loop voltage and q(95 )similar to 6. Fully non-inductive operation is not achieved with NBI alone, whose injection can even increase the loop voltage in the presence of EC waves. A strong contribution to the total plasma pressure of thermal and FIs from NBI is experimentally evidenced and confirmed by interpretative ASTRA and NUBEAM modeling, which further predicts that FIcharge-exchange reactions are the main loss channel for NBH/CD efficiency. Internal transport barriers, which are expected to maximize the bootstrap current fraction, are not formed in either the electron or the ion channel in the plasmas explored to date, despite a significant increase in the toroidal rotation and FI fraction with NBI, which are known to reduce turbulence. First results on scenario development of high-beta(N) fully non-inductive H-mode plasmas are also presented.

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Nuclear Fusion, 59, 9, 096012
Sep 01 2019

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 Record created 2019-08-08, last modified 2020-04-20

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