Progress on the application of ELM control schemes to ITER scenarios from the non-active phase to DT operation

A. Loarte, G. Huijsmans, S. Futatani, L.R. Baylor, T.E. Evans, D.M. Orlov, O. Schmitz, M. Becoulet, P. Cahyna, Y. Gribov, A. Kavin, A. Sashala Naik, D.J. Campbell, T. Casper, E. Daly, H. Frerichs, A. Kischner, R. Laengner, S. Lisgo, R.A. PittsG. Saibene, A. Wingen

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Progress in the definition of the requirements for edge localized mode (ELM) control and the application of ELM control methods both for high fusion performance DT operation and non-active low-current operation in ITER is described. Evaluation of the power fluxes for low plasma current H-modes in ITER shows that uncontrolled ELMs will not lead to damage to the tungsten (W) divertor target, unlike for high-current H-modes in which divertor damage by uncontrolled ELMs is expected. Despite the lack of divertor damage at lower currents, ELM control is found to be required in ITER under these conditions to prevent an excessive contamination of the plasma by W, which could eventually lead to an increased disruptivity. Modelling with the non-linear MHD code JOREK of the physics processes determining the flow of energy from the confined plasma onto the plasma-facing components during ELMs at the ITER scale shows that the relative contribution of conductive and convective losses is intrinsically linked to the magnitude of the ELM energy loss. Modelling of the triggering of ELMs by pellet injection for DIII-D and ITER has identified the minimum pellet size required to trigger ELMs and, from this, the required fuel throughput for the application of this technique to ITER is evaluated and shown to be compatible with the installed fuelling and tritium re-processing capabilities in ITER. The evaluation of the capabilities of the ELM control coil system in ITER for ELM suppression is carried out (in the vacuum approximation) and found to have a factor of ∼2 margin in terms of coil current to achieve its design criterion, although such a margin could be substantially reduced when plasma shielding effects are taken into account. The consequences for the spatial distribution of the power fluxes at the divertor of ELM control by three-dimensional (3D) fields are evaluated and found to lead to substantial toroidal asymmetries in zones of the divertor target away from the separatrix. Therefore, specifications for the rotation of the 3D perturbation applied for ELM control in order to avoid excessive localized erosion of the ITER divertor target are derived. It is shown that a rotation frequency in excess of 1 Hz for the whole toroidally asymmetric divertor power flux pattern is required (corresponding to n Hz frequency in the variation of currents in the coils, where n is the toroidal symmetry of the perturbation applied) in order to avoid unacceptable thermal cycling of the divertor target for the highest power fluxes and worst toroidal power flux asymmetries expected. The possible use of the in-vessel vertical stability coils for ELM control as a back-up to the main ELM control systems in ITER is described and the feasibility of its application to control ELMs in low plasma current H-modes, foreseen for initial ITER operation, is evaluated and found to be viable for plasma currents up to 5–10 MA depending on modelling assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)033007
Number of pages1
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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