TITLE

Change of Paradigm for the Reversed Field Pinch

AUTHOR(S)
Escande, D. F.
PUB. DATE
November 2010
SOURCE
AIP Conference Proceedings;11/23/2010, Vol. 1308 Issue 1, p85
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The reversed field pinch (RFP) is a magnetic configuration germane to the tokamak, but it produces most of its magnetic field by the currents flowing inside the plasma; external coils provide only a small edge toroidal field whose sign is reversed with respect to the central one, whence the name of the configuration. Because of the presence of magnetic turbulence and chaos, the RFP had been considered for a long period as a terrible confinement configuration. However, recently a change of paradigm occurred for this device. Indeed, when the toroidal current is increased in the RFX-mod RFP in Padua (Italy), a self-organized helical state with an internal transport barrier (ITB) develops, and a broad zone of the plasma becomes hot (above 1 keV for a magnetic field above 0.8 T). The present theoretical picture of the RFP mainly comes from three-dimensional nonlinear visco-resistive MHD simulations whose dynamics has strong similarities with the experimental one, and triggered the experimental search for RFP states with improved confinement. The RFP ohmic state involves a helical electrostatic potential generating, as an electric drift, the so-called dynamo velocity field. The magnetic topology can bifurcate from a magnetic island to kink-like magnetic surfaces with higher resilience to magnetic chaos. This theoretical scenario was found to be relevant when ITB's enclosing a broad hot domain were discovered. The ITBs occur in the vicinity of the maximum of the safety factor. The new paradigm for the RFP supports its reappraisal as a low-external field, non-disruptive, ohmically heated approach to magnetic fusion, exploiting both self-organization and technological simplicity. Furthermore the RFP has the same Greenwald density limit as the tokamak, and it is an excellent test bed for the efficient control of multiple resistive wall modes. Its helical magnetic structure makes it germane to the stellarator too. As a result the RFP is also useful to bring support to the present two main lines of magnetic confinement.
ACCESSION #
55595399

 

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