Assessing the merits of resonant magnetic perturbations with different toroidal mode numbers for controlling edge localised modes

I.T. Chapman, A. Kirk, R.J. Akers, C.J. Ham, J.R. Harrison, J.N. Hawke, Y.Q. Liu, K.G. McClements, S. Pamela, S. Saarelma, R. Scanell, A.J. Thorton

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Abstract

An increase in ELM frequency has been demonstrated in MAST by applying resonant magnetic perturbations (RMPs) with toroidal mode number, nRMP = 2, 3, 4, 6. It has been observed that the mitigated ELM frequency increases with the amplitude of the applied field provided it is above a critical threshold. This threshold value depends on the mode number of the RMP, with higher nRMP having a larger critical value. For the same ELM frequency, the reduction in the peak heat load on the divertor plates is approximately the same for all RMP configurations. The RMPs give rise to perturbations to the plasma shape, with lobe structures occurring due to the tangled magnetic fields near the X-point, and corrugations of the plasma boundary at the midplane. The X-point lobe length increases linearly with the applied field when above a threshold, with RMPs of higher toroidal mode number giving rise to longer lobes for the same applied resonant field. Similarly, the midplane displacements increase with the applied field strength, though the corrugation amplitude is less dependent upon the RMP configuration. For all nRMP, the RMPs result in enhanced particle transport and a reduction in the pedestal pressure gradient caused by an increased pedestal width, which is found to be consistent with a decrease in the critical pressure at which infinite-n ballooning modes are driven unstable in non-axisymmetric plasmas. The plasma rotation braking is strongest for lowest nRMP whilst the degradation of access to H-mode resultant from the application of RMPs are non-monotonic in nRMP, with the optimal case for both occurring for nRMP = 4. Whilst there are advantages and disadvantages for all RMP configurations, the configurations found to be optimised in terms of pedestal degradation, access to H-mode, plasma rotation and distortion to the plasma configuration in MAST are nRMP = 3 or 4, consistent with the configurations anticipated for use in ITER.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123003
Pages (from-to)123003-1/15
Number of pages15
JournalNuclear Fusion
Volume54
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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