Disruptions caused by tearing modes (TMs) are considered to be one of the most critical roadblocks to achieving reliable, steady-state operation of tokamak fusion reactors. Here we have demonstrated a promising scheme to avoid mode locking by utilizing the electro-magnetic (EM) torque produced with 3D coils that are available in many tokamaks. In this scheme, the EM torque is delivered to the modes by a toroidal phase shift between the externally applied field and the excited TM fields, compensating for the mode momentum loss through the interaction with the resistive wall and uncorrected error fields. Fine control of torque balance is provided by a feedback scheme. We have explored this approach in two widely different devices and plasma conditions: DIII-D and RFX-mod operated in tokamak mode. In DIII-D, the plasma target was high βNin a non-circular divertor tokamak. Here βNis defined as βN= β/(Ip/aBt) (%Tm/MA), where β, Ip, a, Btare the total stored plasma pressure normalized by the magnetic pressure, plasma current, plasma minor radius and toroidal magnetic field at the plasma center, respectively. The RFX-mod plasma was ohmically-heated with ultra-low safety factor in a circular limiter discharge with active feedback coils outside the thick resistive shell. The DIII-D and RFX-mod experiments showed remarkable consistency with theoretical predictions of torque balance. The application to ignition-oriented devices such as the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) would expand the horizon of its operational regime. The internal 3D coil set currently under consideration for edge localized mode suppression in ITER would be well suited for this purpose.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics
Okabayashi, M., Zanca, P., Strait, E. J., Garofalo, A. M., Hanson, J. M., In, Y., La Haye, R. J., Marrelli, L., Martin, P., Paccagnella, R., Paz-Soldan, C., Piovesan, P., Piron, C., Piron, L., Shiraki, D., & Volpe, F. A. (2017). Avoidance of tearing mode locking with electro-magnetic torque introduced by feedback-based mode rotation control in DIII-D and RFX-mod. Nuclear Fusion, 57(1), -. . https://doi.org/10.1088/1741-4326/57/1/016035