On the performance of JET hybrid plasmas, our latest contribution published in Nuclear Fusion

The Joint European Torus (JET) – Courtesy of EUROfusion

The paper entitled Modelling of JET hybrid plasmas with emphasis on performance of combined ICRF and NBI heating” has been published by Nuclear Fusion. It advances our understanding of the optimisation of fusion performance of the recent Joint European Torus (JET) hybrid plasmas. The hybrid scenario is an advanced regime of tokamak plasma operation expected to be applied in ITER. It is characterized by a low plasma current Ip which allows operation at a high normalised beta as well as a safety factor at the plasma centre greater than 1 which is beneficial from the plasma stability point of view.

The paper focuses on the impact of neutral beam injection (NBI) and specially ion cyclotron resonance frequency (ICRF) heating on the neutron production rate. The main scheme studied is minority hydrogen (H) in a deuterium (D) plasma with D beams. The modelling takes into account the synergy between ICRF and NBI heating through the second harmonic cyclotron resonance of D beam ions which allows us to assess its impact on the neutron rate RNT. Apart from the D scenario, the deuterium-tritium (DT) scenario is also assessed through an extrapolation  of D high-performance hybrid discharges. These results are relevant for the forthcoming DTE2 campaign at JET where one of the goals is to achieve the highest possible fusion performance for a duration of more than 5 s.

Read moreOn the performance of JET hybrid plasmas, our latest contribution published in Nuclear Fusion

Evidence of generation of non-inductive toroidal plasma current above density limit

Alcator C-Mod (Photo: Courtesy of MIT)

One of the key requirements to achieve steady-state power production in a fusion reactor based on the so-called tokamak configuration is to generate non-inductive toroidal plasma current in an efficient way. A recent paper published in Physical Review Letters entitled Observation of Efficient Lower Hybrid Current Drive at High Density in Diverted Plasmas on the Alcator C-Mod Tokamak reports on the use of lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) as an efficient mean to obtain non-inductive plasma current at high plasma densities in a diverted tokamak configuration such as Alcator C-Mod.

Read moreEvidence of generation of non-inductive toroidal plasma current above density limit

John Wright brings the AORSA code to BSC

Severo Ochoa talk by Prof. John Wright.

Dr John Wright, Principal Scientist at Plasma Science and Fusion Center at MIT (USA) visited the BSC fusion group for two weeks in March, funded by BSC Severo Ochoa incoming mobility funding. The objective of his visit was to install the All-Orders Spectral Algorithm (AORSA) code at MareNostrum.

Read moreJohn Wright brings the AORSA code to BSC

New recipe proposed for fusion: Fusing Quarks

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Photo: CERN

Whether the nuclear fusion approach is based upon magnetically confined plasmas or inertial confinement, the underlying idea is the same, to fuse nuclei made up of protons and neutrons into a more massive nucleus. But what if there exists other physical mechanisms?

A recent paper published in Nature by Marek Karliner and Jonathan L. Rosner describes the fusion reaction at a quark-level by the double charmed baryon discovered at CERN, Geneva. CERN hosts the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) which is the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider which intends to discover the fundamental structure of the universe.

Read moreNew recipe proposed for fusion: Fusing Quarks

At the EUROfusion General Planning Meeting of Medium Sized Tokamaks

Dr. Mervi Mantsinen and Dani Gallart at the entrance hall of JET facilities at Culham, UK.

The General Planning Meeting (GPM) of the Medium Sized Tokamaks (MST1) was organized this year at at the JET facilities, Culham, UK. The meeting started with an overview of the present status of AUG (Garching, Germany) and TCV (Lausanne, Switzerland) tokamaks. They were followed by a presentation on MAST-U (Culham, UK) which will be back in operation next year with the new and exciting Super-X divertor. It will be able to drastically reduce the divertor heat load from particles leaving the plasma.

Read moreAt the EUROfusion General Planning Meeting of Medium Sized Tokamaks

Heating up the engines at JET

The Joint European Torus (JET) chamber (Photo: extremetech)

After almost one year of the JET shutdown, the General Planning Meeting (GPM) was held at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) during the 11th to 13th of October. The meeting was followed on-site by three of our fusion group members, Mervi Mantsinen, Shimpei Futatani and Dani Gallart.

Many aspects of the following JET campaigns were discussed at the GPM. More importantly, all the proposals made by the fusion community were evaluated and a slot was assigned accordingly as a main or back-up experiment or, due to lack of time and prioritization criteria, suppressed, a priori, from the campaign. The selection of the proposals was carried out by the team of Task Force Leaders (TFLs) who presented an ambitious plan for the coming campaigns.

Read moreHeating up the engines at JET