Particle transport in tokamak plasmas

The transport of particles in magnetically confined plasmas is of great importance for the development of fusion energy. It will determine techniques for fuelling, for controlling impurity concentrations and for the removal of the alpha particles produced by fusion reactions. The issues related to particle transport have received, until relatively recently, less attention than those regarding heat transport. Besides the greater experimental difficulty of measuring particle transport, this may explain why our understanding of this subject is still incomplete. The aim of this thesis is to document and tentatively interpret the experimental density profile behaviour in the TCV (Tokamak à Configuration Variable) and JET (Joint European Torus) tokamaks in the framework of different theoretical and semi-empirical models. The TCV tokamak is well suited to transport studies due to its extreme shaping capability, which allows the exploration of a wide range of different plasma conditions. This versatility is matched by the powerful and flexible electron cyclotron heating (ECH) system on TCV, which allows a control of the local power deposition profiles and current drive profiles. A study of particle transport on the JET tokamak has allowed us to compare the results of TCV to those of a much larger device and supplement the TCV study with the analysis in reactor relevant high confinement regime (H-mode). The experimental information was compiled into a database of density profiles in steady state, containing nearly 1000 samples for TCV and 600 samples for JET. The data analyzed covered a wide range of discharge conditions, including low confinement regime (L-mode) and H-mode discharges, ECH, ICH (ion cyclotron heating), LHCD (low hybrid), beam heated plasmas and include fully current drive discharges. The most relevant parameters which influence the density profiles were determined by regression. A detailed analysis of the particle sources showed that edge fuelling in TCV and JET cannot be responsible for density gradient in the plasma bulk, confirming the presence of particle convection or a 'pinch'. The existence of an anomalous pinch was unambiguously demonstrated both on JET and on TCV by the observation of peaked density profiles in stationary, fully relaxed, fully current driven discharges and hence in the absence of the neoclassical Ware pinch. An unexpected difference in the parameter dependencies was found in L-and H-modes. In TCV and JET, density gradient lengths (or profile peaking parameters) in L-mode were found to depend on magnetic shear with no dependence on collisionality. This lack of collisionality dependence in L- mode is inconsistent with current theoretical models. H-mode density profiles in JET, on the other hand, are clearly dependent on collisionality in agreement with theory and a prior observation on ASDEX-Upgrade, while exhibiting only a weak or no dependence on shear and temperature profiles. It was found that for TCV and JET, L mode density peaking can be interpreted as being due to turbulent equipartition, which assumes conservation of the magnetic moment and the longitudinal invariant during transport. The observation of a reduction of peaking in TCV with ECH supports drift wave turbulence theory, which predicts the appearance of outward particle convection, when trapped electron modes are destabilized. In JET H-mode, the weak secondary correlation of peaking with the electron-ion temperature ratio Te/Ti, may also be considered, at least quantitatively, as being supportive of drift wave turbulence theory.

    Thèse École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne EPFL, n° 3252 (2005)
    Section de physique
    Faculté des sciences de base
    CRPP Association Euratom
    Jury: Aurélio Bay, Ralph Dux, Xavier Garbet, Georges Meylan

    Public defense: 2005-5-27


    Record created on 2005-04-06, modified on 2016-08-08

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