Analysis of the inter-species power balance in JET plasmas

H. Weisen, E. Delabie, J. Flanagan, C. Giroud, M. Maslov, S. Menmuir, A. Patel, S. Scott, Paula Siren, J. Varje, JET Contributors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Most auxiliary heating methods provide heating to more than one particle species (electrons, ions, impurities) in a fusion plasma. This can lead to substantial temperature differences between species, depending on conditions such as heating power to the different species and collisionality, with temperature differences between species limited by inter-species thermal equipartition and transport. The analysis of the steady-state electron-ion and impurity-ion power balances presented in this paper are used for consistency-checking experimental ion and electron temperature measurements and for inferring the main ion temperature from measured impurity temperatures. As ion temperature measurements by charge exchange spectroscopy (CXS) based on impurity ions have become more difficult and time-consuming since the installation of the ITER-like wall (ILW) with Be and W PFC's, knowing the maximum sustainable temperature difference between ions and electrons, |T i - T e| allows rejecting erroneous measurements. It also obviates the need for an ion temperature measurement, if an electron temperature measurement is available and |T i - T e| cannot be larger than the combined errors of the underlying measurements. A power balance analysis is also required for estimating the errors of the ion and electron heat fluxes prior to any species-resolved transport analysis. The ion-impurity temperature differences are usually found to be small due to strong thermal equipartition between ion species. However, they can approach 10% in JET-ILW low density, high power discharges, such the ones under development for a future JET deuterium-tritium campaign (Joffrin et al 2019 Nucl. Fusion). This has a generally small, but not always negligible effect on the calculation of fusion reaction rates, which depend on main ion temperatures. An important outcome of this analysis is that temperature differences between impurity species are always much smaller than between the impurities and hydrogenic species and can usually be neglected. The paper presents two methods for calculating the impurity-to-main ion temperature ratio. Finally, this analysis leads to a method for the reconstruction ion temperature profiles from ion temperature data available at only one or a small number of spatial locations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number036004
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Heat flux
  • Impurity temperature
  • Ion temperature
  • Power balance
  • Thermal equipartition


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