On Fast-Ion Transport and Burn Control in Tokamaks
Fast ions, generated by e.g. neutral beam injection (NBI), radio frequency (RF) heating or nuclear reactions, play an important role in all large tokamaks. Several issues related to fast ions and burning fusion plasmas are addressed in this thesis.
Firstly, a new model of sawtooth oscillations is developed which explains the recent observations that q0 remains below unity during the entire sawtooth cycle. The model features full reconnection in two current layers and provides a self-consistent description of the plasma states before and after the sawtooth crash. It is applied to the redistribution of fast NBI-ions in JET and comparisons are made with global as well as line-of-sight integrated D-D neutron measurements. Both the new model and the classical Kadomtsev model are found to be in agreement with the measurements. A simplified redistribution model is developed and applied to the redistribution of tritons and thermal ions, again giving reasonable agreement with D-T / D-D neutron measurements. Using a separate method, earlier results on expulsion of NBI-ions are confirmed.
Secondly, a numerical study has been carried out of the coupled nonlinear evolution of alpha-particle driven kinetic AlfvÂ?n wave turbulence and associated alpha transport. The saturated fluctuation spectrum consists of two peaks and results from nonlinear ion Compton scattering-induced transfer of energy from longer to shorter wavelengths. An analytical solution of the saturated spectrum, and estimates of the anomalous alpha diffusion coefficient, are given.
The final paper addresses the problem of determining whether an initial temperature profile, established by e.g. auxiliary heating, will evolve to thermonuclear burn or quench under the influence of alpha-particle heating and thermal conduction. Explicit burn criteria are presented and the beneficial effects of density and temperature peaking are discussed.