Optimisation of confinement in a fusion reactor using a nonlinear turbulence model
Journal article, 2018

The confinement of heat in the core of a magnetic fusion reactor is optimised using a multidimensional optimisation algorithm. For the first time in such a study, the loss of heat due to turbulence is modelled at every stage using first-principles nonlinear simulations which accurately capture the turbulent cascade and large-scale zonal flows. The simulations utilise a novel approach, with gyrofluid treatment of the small-scale drift waves and gyrokinetic treatment of the large-scale zonal flows. A simple near-circular equilibrium with standard parameters is chosen as the initial condition. The figure of merit, fusion power per unit volume, is calculated, and then two control parameters, the elongation and triangularity of the outer flux surface, are varied, with the algorithm seeking to optimise the chosen figure of merit. A twofold increase in the plasma power per unit volume is achieved by moving to higher elongation and strongly negative triangularity.

Fusion plasma

Plasma simulation

Plasma confinement


Edmund Hood Highcock

Culham Science Centre

University of Oxford

Chalmers, Physics, Subatomic and Plasma Physics

N. R. Mandell

Princeton University

M. Barnes

University of Oxford

William D. Dorland

University of Maryland

Journal of Plasma Physics

0022-3778 (ISSN) 1469-7807 (eISSN)

Vol. 84 2 905840208

Subject Categories

Energy Engineering

Fluid Mechanics and Acoustics

Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics



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