Two steps towards the realization of fusion: New plasma configurations in the TCV tokamak and its ongoing upgrades
Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas (CRPP), Association EURATOM – Confédération Suisse, CRPP – EPFL, 1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
a Corresponding author: email@example.com
Published online: 10 December 2014
To realise the potential of fusion as an abundant energy source, several challenges remain. The TCV tokamak, featuring high shaping capability and a flexible heating system, is strongly contributing to solving these challenges. A fundamental challenge remains in controlling heat exhaust from the plasma. ITER's currently foreseen operational regime implies heat flows to the plasma facing materials that are not compatible with a commercial fusion reactor. TCV has demonstrated alternative plasma divertor configurations, termed “snowflakes”, that have the potential to strongly reduce the heat flux towards the vessel walls. Measurements of particle fluxes, together with IR camera imaging, show a clear reduction of the peak heat fluxes to the walls when the exhaust power is particularly large and a reduction of the heat fluxes most needed. Another challenge lies in the control of plasma instabilities and turbulence in reactor relevant operational regimes. To address this issue, TCV is presently complementing its electron heating system with an ion heating system: a 1MW neutral beam injector. With these ion and electron heating capabilities, TCV will be able to operate high temperature, reactor relevant, plasmas with of ion to electron temperature ratios.
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