The role of magnetic perturbations in runaway electron and sawtooth dynamics
Doctoral thesis, 2013

As the world's fusion energy program is increasingly focused towards burning plasma experiments, it is important to address the remaining theoretical issues. In this thesis we focus on the effect of magnetic perturbations on the radial plasma transport. The sudden loss of plasma confinement in large tokamaks can lead to the generation of a relativistic runaway electron beam that may cause serious structural damage. To suppress the runaway beam the application of resonant magnetic perturbations (RMP) has been suggested. In this thesis, the numerical analysis of the RMP is based on the relativistic, gyro-averaged drift equations for the runaway electrons in the 3D perturbed equilibria of the TEXTOR and ITER tokamaks. The results indicate that, in a properly chosen perturbation geometry, runaway electrons are rapidly lost from approximately the outer half of the confinement volume. Simulation studies of runaway evolution with self-consistent electric field in the presence of impurities have been carried out for the JET tokamak with a 1D tool, where we have demonstrated the runaway suppression effect of magnetic perturbation induced radial transport. We also show that runaway electrons can generate high energy positrons, and that their synchrotron radiation may be used for diagnostic purposes. The last part of the thesis describes the low frequency precursor activity observed in the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak before sawtooth crashes, which are periodic density and temperature redistributions of the plasma core. Besides the well-known internal kink mode, the low frequency sawtooth precursor (LFSP) mode is studied in detail. Time-frequency analysis indicates non-linear interaction and a similar spatial structure for the two modes. A possible role of this mode in the evolution of the sawtooth crash is discussed in the context of magnetic perturbations.

magnetic perturbation

fusion plasma physics

runaway mitigation

sawtooth oscillation


runaway electrons

Opponent: Dr. Roger Jaspers, Eindhoven University of Technology


Gergely Papp

Chalmers, Applied Physics, Nuclear Engineering

Runaway Positrons in Fusion Plasmas

Physical Review Letters,; Vol. 108(2012)p. 225003-

Journal article

Runaway electron drift orbits in magnetostatic perturbed fields

Nuclear Fusion,; Vol. 51(2011)p. 043004-

Journal article

Runaway electron losses caused by resonant magnetic perturbations in ITER

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion,; Vol. 53(2011)p. 095004-

Journal article

Low frequency sawtooth precursor activity in ASDEX Upgrade

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion,; Vol. 53(2011)p. 065007-

Journal article

The effect of the ITER-like wall on runaway electron generation in JET

Nuclear Fusion,; Vol. 53(2013)p. 123017-

Journal article

The effect of resonant magnetic perturbations on runaway electron transport in ITER

Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion,; Vol. 54(2012)p. 125008-

Journal article

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Basic sciences

Subject Categories

Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics



Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie


Opponent: Dr. Roger Jaspers, Eindhoven University of Technology

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