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Journal Articles Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion Year : 2021

Overview of the isotope effects in the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak


In recent years, measurements on the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak and modelling performed for plasmas with hydrogen (H) and deuterium (D) as the main gas have improved our understanding of the ion mass dependencies in fusion plasmas. The observed isotope effects can be explained with established physics processes which highlight the importance of treating heat transport with coupled electron and ion heat channels. In the core of electron heated L-mode plasmas, the mass dependence of the electron–ion equipartition results in a reduction of $q_\textrm{i}/q_\textrm{e}$ with increasing ion mass. Combined with higher profile stiffness in the ions compared to the electrons, this results in improved core confinement for higher ion masses. At the edge of L-mode plasmas where a higher collisionality is observed, parallel electron dynamics is fundamental for turbulence. The parallel electron dynamics term in the gyrokinetic equations directly depends on $m_\textrm{i}/m_\textrm{e}$, resulting in a different kinetic response with different ion mass. Higher turbulent fluxes are expected with lower ion mass. This is consistent with the difference in $L_{n\textrm{e}}$ observed in the experiment. The mass dependence of turbulent transport in the L-mode edge has direct consequences for the L–H transition. More heating power is required to enter the H-mode at lower mass ($P_\textrm{L-H}^\textrm{H}\sim 2 P_\textrm{L-H}^\textrm{D}$). This is expected if the critical E × B shearing rate $\gamma_{E\times B}$ is important for the transition from L to H mode. In the H-mode pedestal, $\gamma_{E\times B}$ remains important to regulate the turbulent transport. The electrons do not contribute to $\gamma_{E\times B}$ and the enhanced equipartition for lower ion masses causes a shift from the ion channel to the electron channel in the absolute heat fluxes. Consequently, the inter edge localised mode (ELM) transport is found to be higher with lower isotope mass. This enhanced transport in H can prevent the pedestal from reaching the peeling–ballooning stability boundary with engineering parameters where D plasmas are peeling–ballooning unstable. Increasing the triangularity reduces the inter ELM transport in H stronger than in comparable D plasmas. For matched pedestal top and matched heat sources, the core heat transport is found to be similar for H and D when the fast-ion content is low. When ion temperature gradient turbulence stabilisation by fast ions becomes relevant, the mass dependent fast-ion slowing down results in higher fast-ion content in D and therefore in a reduction of ion heat transport in the core. Then, even for matched pedestals $\tau_\textrm{E}^\textrm{D}\gt\tau_\textrm{E}^\textrm{H}$.
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hal-03231161 , version 1 (20-05-2021)



P A Schneider, Pascale Hennequin, N Bonanomi, M Dunne, G D Conway, et al.. Overview of the isotope effects in the ASDEX Upgrade tokamak. Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion, 2021, 63 (6), pp.064006. ⟨10.1088/1361-6587/abf540⟩. ⟨hal-03231161⟩
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