The confinement and the stability properties of the DIII‐D tokamak [Plasma Physics and Controlled Nuclear Fusion Research 1986 (International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, 1987), Vol. 1, p. 159] high‐performance discharges are evaluated in terms of rotational and magnetic shear, with an emphasis on the recent experimental results obtained from the negative central magnetic shear (NCS) experiments. In NCS discharges, a core transport barrier is often observed to form inside the NCS region accompanied by a reduction in core fluctuation amplitudes. Increasing negative magnetic shear contributes to the formation of this core transport barrier, but by itself is not sufficient to fully stabilize the toroidal drift mode (trapped‐electron‐ηi mode) to explain this formation. Comparison of the Doppler shift shear rate to the growth rate of the ηi mode suggests that the large core E×B flow shear can stabilize this mode and broaden the region of reduced core transport. Ideal and resistive stability analysis indicates the performance of NCS discharges with strongly peaked pressure profiles is limited by the resistive interchange mode to low βN≤2.3. This mode is insensitive to the details of the rotational and the magnetic shear profiles. A new class of discharges, which has a broad region of weak or slightly negative magnetic shear (WNS), is described. The WNS discharges have broader pressure profiles and higher β values than the NCS discharges, together with high confinement and high fusion reactivity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics