To produce in a thermonuclear fusion reactor based on the tokamak concept a sufficiently high fusion gain together stability necessary for operations represent a major challenge, which depends on the capability of driving non-inductive current in the hydrogen plasma. This request should be satisfied by radio-frequency (RF) power suitable for producing the lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) effect, recently demonstrated successfully occurring also at reactor-graded high plasma densities. An LHCD-based tool should be in principle capable of tailoring the plasma current density in the outer radial half of plasma column, where other methods are much less effective, in order to ensure operations in the presence of unpredictably changes of the plasma pressure profiles. In the presence of too high electron temperatures even at the periphery of the plasma column, as envisaged in DEMO reactor, the penetration of the coupled RF power into the plasma core was believed for long time problematic and, only recently, numerical modelling results based on standard plasma wave theory, have shown that this problem should be solved by using suitable parameter of the antenna power spectrum. We show here further information on the new understanding of the RF power deposition profile dependence on antenna parameters, which supports the conclusion that current can be actively driven over a broad layer of the outer radial half of plasma column, thus enabling current profile control necessary for the stability of a reactor.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics
Amicucci, L., Cardinali, A., Castaldo, C., Cesario, R., Galli, A., Panaccione, L., ... Tuccillo, A. (2015). Current drive for stability of thermonuclear plasma reactor. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 58(1), -. . https://doi.org/10.1088/0741-3335/58/1/014042