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Title: The Low-Recycling Lithium Boundary and Implications for Plasma Transport
Authors: Granstedt, Erik Michael
Advisors: Kaita, Robert
Hammett, Gregory W
Contributors: Astrophysical Sciences Department
Keywords: fusion energy
magnetic confinement
plasma-material interactions
plasma transport
Subjects: Plasma physics
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Pumping of incident hydrogen and impurity ions by lithium enables control of the particle inventory and fueling profile in magnetic-confined plasmas, and may raise the plasma temperature near the wall. As a result, the density gradient is expected to contribute substantially to the free-energy, affecting particle and thermal transport from micro-turbulence which is typically the dominant transport mechanism in high-temperature fusion experiments. Transport in gyrokinetic simulations of density-gradient-dominated profiles is characterized by a small linear critical gradient, large particle flux, and preferential diffusion of cold particles. As a result, the heat flux is below 5/2 or even 3/2 times the particle flux, usually assumed to be the minimum for convection. While surprising, this result is consistent with increasing entropy. Coupled TEM-ITG (ion-temperature- gradient) simulations using &#951;e = &#951;i find &#951; = &#8711;T /&#8711;n&#8764;0.8 maximizes the linear critical pressure gradient, which suggests that experiments operating near marginal ITG stability with larger &#951; would increase the linear critical pressure gradient by transferring free-energy from the temperature gradient to the density gradient. Simulations were performed with profiles predicted for the Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX) if ion thermal transport was neoclassical, while electron thermal transport and particle transport were a fixed ratio above the neoclassical level. A robust TEM instability was found for the outer half radius, while the ITG was found to be driven unstable as well during gas puff fueling. This suggests that TEM transport will be an important transport mechanism in high-temperature low-recycling fusion experiments, and in the absence of stabilizing mechanisms, may dominate over neoclassical transport. A diagnostic suite has been developed to measure hydrogen and impurity emission in LTX in order to determine the lower bound on recycling that can be achieved in a small tokamak using solid lithium coatings, assess its dependence on the operating condition of the lithium surface, and evaluate its impact on the discharge. Coatings on the close-fitting stainless-steel substrate produce a significant reduction in recyling, so that the effective particle confinement times are as low as 1 ms. Measurements of particle inventory in the plasma and hydrogen Lyman-&#945; emission indicate that hydrogen recycling at the surface increases as subsequent discharges are performed; nevertheless, strong pumping of hydrogen is observed even after almost double the cumulative fueling is applied that should saturate the lithium coating to the penetration depth of hydrogen ions. Probe measurements show that when external fueling is terminated, the scrape-off-layer of discharges with fresh coatings decays to lower density and rises to higher electron temperature than for discharges with a partially-passivated surface, consistent with reduced edge cooling from recycled particles. Near the end of the discharge, higher plasma current correlates with reduced &#964;p<super>*</super> and hydrogen emission, suggesting that discharges with fresh coatings achieve higher electron temperature in the core. A novel approach using neutral modeling was developed for the inverse problem of determining the distribution of recycled particle flux from PFC surfaces given a large number of emission measurements, revealing that extremely low levels of recycling (Rcore&#8764;0.6 and Rplate&#8764;0.8) have been achieved with solid lithium coatings. Together with impurity emission measurements, modeling suggests that during periods of particularly low electron density, influx of impurities from the walls contributes substantially to the global particle balance.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Astrophysical Sciences

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