The role of kinetic effects, including plasma rotation and energetic particles, in resistive wall mode stability

Berkery, J. W.; Sabbagh, S. A.; Reimerdes, H.; Betti, R.; Hu, B.; Bell, R. E.; Gerhardt, S. P.; Manickam, J.; Podestà, M.
August 2010
Physics of Plasmas;Aug2010, Vol. 17 Issue 8, p082504
Academic Journal
The resistive wall mode (RWM) instability in high-beta tokamaks is stabilized by energy dissipation mechanisms that depend on plasma rotation and kinetic effects. Kinetic modification of ideal stability calculated with the “MISK” code [B. Hu et al., Phys. Plasmas 12, 057301 (2005)] is outlined. For an advanced scenario ITER [R. Aymar et al., Nucl. Fusion 41, 1301 (2001)] plasma, the present calculation finds that alpha particles are required for RWM stability at presently expected levels of plasma rotation. Kinetic stabilization theory is tested in an experiment in the National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) [M. Ono et al., Nucl. Fusion 40, 557 (2000)] that produced marginally stable plasmas with various energetic particle contents. Plasmas with the highest and lowest energetic particle content agree with calculations predicting that increased energetic particle pressure is stabilizing but does not alter the nonmonotonic dependence of stability on plasma rotation due to thermal particle resonances. Presently, the full MISK model, including thermal particles and an isotropic slowing-down distribution function for energetic particles, overpredicts stability in NSTX experiments. Minor alteration of either effect in the theory may yield agreement; several possibilities are discussed.


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