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Title:
On the breakdown modes and parameter space of ohmic tokamak start-up
Authors:
Peng, Yanli; Jiang, Wei; Innocenti, Maria Elena; Zhang, Ya; Hu, Xiwei; Zhuang, Ge; Lapenta, Giovanni
Affiliation:
AA(School of Physics and School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China), AB(School of Physics and School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China), AC(Centre for mathematical Plasma-Astrophysics, Department of Mathematics, University of Leuven, Leuven 3001, Belgium), AD(Department of Physics, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China), AE(School of Physics and School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China), AF(School of Physics and School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074, China), AG(Centre for mathematical Plasma-Astrophysics, Department of Mathematics, University of Leuven, Leuven 3001, Belgium)
Publication:
Journal of Plasma Physics, Volume 84, Issue 5, article id. 905840505, 34 pp.
Publication Date:
10/2018
Origin:
CUP
Keywords:
fusion plasma, plasma simulation
Abstract Copyright:
(c) 2018: © Cambridge University Press 2018
DOI:
10.1017/S0022377818001046
Bibliographic Code:
2018JPlPh..84e9005P

Abstract

Tokamak start-up is strongly dependent on the state of the initial plasma formed during plasma breakdown. We have investigated through numerical simulations the effects that the pre-filling pressure and induced electric field have on pure ohmic heating during the breakdown process. Three breakdown modes during the discharge are found, as a function of different initial parameters: no breakdown mode, successful breakdown mode and runaway mode. No breakdown mode often occurs with low electric field or high pre-filling pressure, while runaway electrons are usually easy to generate at high electric field or low pre-filling pressure ( -4$ Pa). The plasma behaviours and the physical mechanisms under the three breakdown modes are discussed. We have identified the electric field and pressure values at which the different modes occur. In particular, when the electric field is -1$ (the value at which ITER operates), the pressure range for possible breakdown becomes narrow, which is consistent with Lloyd's theoretical prediction. In addition, for -1$ , the optimal pre-filling pressure range obtained from our simulations is -3\sim 2.66\times 10-3$ Pa, in good agreement with ITER's design. Besides, we also find that the Townsend discharge model does not appropriately describe the plasma behaviour during tokamak breakdown due to the presence of a toroidal field. Furthermore, we suggest three possible operation mechanisms for general start-up scenarios which could better control the breakdown phase.
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