Improved neoclassical plasma confinement and turbulence suppression in a magnetic well in tokamak reactors

Ker-Chung Shaing, M. S. Chu, Y. K.M. Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has been known that the width of the trapped particles, i.e. bananas, is reduced or squeezed in a magnetic well in tokamaks. The magnetic squeezing factor S B depends on the energy and pitch angle of the particles. When ρ p/a ∼ 1, S B becomes appreciably larger than unity; it can be of the order of 2 for a parabolic well with B -1 d2 B/dr 2 ∼ 2a -2. Here, ρ p is the poloidal gyro-radius, B is the magnetic field strength, r is the local minor radius, and a is the minor radius. However, the real orbit width measured in terms of the poloidal magnetic flux is still less than a because of the magnetic squeezing; for S B = 2, it is a 30% reduction. The transport consequences of the squeezed bananas in a magnetic well are calculated by solving the drift kinetic equation utilizing the constants of motion in the large aspect ratio limit. Consequently, neoclassical ion heat conductivity χ h in the reactor relevant collisionality regime (i.e. banana regime) is reduced by a factor of ; for S B = 2, it is almost a factor of three reduction for the same temperature. The ion temperature scaling of χ h improves from the conventional, and weakly favorable scaling to the strongly favorable scaling for high temperature fusion grade tokamak plasmas; the scaling however does not take the temperature dependence of the magnetic well itself into account. Here, T i is the ion temperature. In addition, it is shown that plasma turbulence is suppressed in a magnetic well using the reduced decorrelation time argument and anomalous plasma confinement is improved. The combined improvements result in a favorable temperature scaling in the ion energy confinement time, and make burning aneutronic fuels feasible. The implications on a tokamak with a magnetic well as a fusion reactor are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number096031
JournalNuclear Fusion
Volume61
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sep

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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