MHD stability constraints on divertor heat flux width in DIII-D

A. W. Leonard, A. E. Jaervinen, A. G. McLean, F. Scotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The radial width of the exhaust heat flux flowing in the SOL of DIII-D is found to expand at high input power and plasma density, consistent with MHD ballooning stability limits. At low heating power, ~3 MW, the SOL width remains constant and consistent with established empirical scaling dependent only on the midplane poloidal field. At high heating power, ~ 13 MW a higher separatrix density, and resulting higher separatrix pressure is required for divertor detachment. The separatrix pressure gradient at the separatrix continues to increase with density until it begins to saturate at levels ~50% above the calculated ideal MHD ballooning limit. Examination of the separate contributions to the pressure gradient from electrons and ions reveals the ion pressure gradient to saturate more strongly than the electron pressure gradient. Potential analysis issues leading to the measured pressure gradient exceeding the ballooning limit are discussed. At high density, particularly for detached divertor plasmas, the SOL width for temperature and density expand modestly, ~30–50%. The divertor plasma density profile in detachment also reflects this trend, expanding in the radial direction a factor of 2–3. Despite the SOL width expansion at the highest power and density no degradation of the pedestal and resulting core confinement is observed with the additional density at high power. These results imply a more favorable scaling for divertor heat flux control in future reactor-scale tokamaks than predicted by existing empirical scaling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100869
JournalNuclear Materials and Energy
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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