Overview of experimental results and code validation activities at Alcator C-Mod
Journal article, 2013
Recent research on the Alcator C-Mod tokamak has focused on a range of scientific issues with particular emphasis on ITER needs and on detailed comparisons between experimental measurements and predictive models. Research on ICRF (ion cyclotron range of frequencies) heating emphasized the origins and mitigation of metallic impurities while work on lower hybrid current drive experiments have focused on linear and nonlinear wave interactions that limit efficiency at high densities in regimes with low single pass absorption. Experiments in core turbulence and transport focused on quantitative, multi-field comparisons between nonlinear gyro-kinetics simulations and experimental measurements of profiles, fluxes and fluctuations. Experiments into self-generated rotation observed spontaneous flow reversal at a critical density identical to the transition density between linear ohmic confinement and saturated ohmic confinement regimes. H-mode studies have measured pedestal widths consistent with kinetic-ballooning-mode-like instabilities, while the pedestal heights quantitatively match the EPED code predictions. Experiments with I-mode have increased the operating window for this promising edge-localized-mode-free regime. Extrapolation of I-mode to ITER suggests that the fusion gain Q ~ 10 could be possible in ITER. Investigations into the physics and scaling of the power exhaust channel width in attached enhanced D-alpha H-mode and L-mode plasma showed a direct connection between the midplane pressure-folding length and the outer divertor target footprint. The width was found to scale inversely with IP, while being independent of conducted power, BT or q95 and insensitive to the scrape-off layer connection length - a behaviour that suggests critical-gradient physics sets both pressure and heat-flux profiles.
verification and validation