Chin. Phys. Lett.  2020, Vol. 37 Issue (4): 045202    DOI: 10.1088/0256-307X/37/4/045202
A New Path to Improve High $\beta_{\rm p}$ Plasma Performance on EAST for Steady-State Tokamak Fusion Reactor
Baonian Wan** and the EAST team
Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei 230031
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Baonian Wan and the EAST team 2020 Chin. Phys. Lett. 37 045202
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Abstract High $\beta_{\rm p}$ scenario is foreseen to be a promising candidate operational mode for steady-state tokamak fusion reactors. Dedicated experiments on EAST and data analysis find that density gradient $\nabla n$ is a control knob to improve energy confinement in high $\beta_{\rm p}$ plasmas at low toroidal rotation as projected for a fusion reactor. Different from previously known turbulent stabilization mechanisms such as ${\boldsymbol E} \times {\boldsymbol B}$ shear and Shafranov shift, high density gradient can enhance the Shafranov shift stabilizing effect significantly in high $\beta_{\rm p}$ regime, giving that a higher density gradient is readily accessible in future fusion reactors with lower collisionality. This new finding is of great importance for the next-step fusion development because it may open a new path towards even higher energy confinement in the high $\beta_{\rm p}$ scenario. It has been demonstrated in the recent EAST experiments, i.e., a fully non-inductive high $\beta_{\rm p}$ ($\sim $2) H-mode plasma ($H_{98y2}\ge 1.3$) has been obtained for a duration over 100 current diffusion times, which sets another new world record of long-pulse high-performance tokamak plasma operation with the normalized performance approaching the ITER and CFETR regimes.
Received: 06 March 2020      Published: 25 March 2020
PACS:  52.75.-d (Plasma devices)  
  52.77.Fv (High-pressure, high-current plasmas)  
Fund: Supported by the National Magnetic Confinement Fusion Science Program of China under Grant No. 2015GB103000.
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Baonian Wan and the EAST team
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