Global gas balance experiments at ASDEX Upgrade (AUG) and JET have shown that a considerable fraction of nitrogen injected for radiative cooling is not recovered as N2 upon regeneration of the liquid helium cryo pump. The most probable loss channels are ion implantation into plasma-facing materials, co-deposition and ammonia formation. These three mechanisms are investigated in laboratory and tokamak experiments and by numerical simulations. Laboratory experiments have shown that implantation of nitrogen ions into beryllium and tungsten leads to the formation of surface nitrides, which may decompose under thermal loads. On beryllium the presence of nitrogen at the surface has been seen to reduce the sputtering yield. On tungsten surfaces it has been observed that the presence of nitrogen can increase hydrogen retention. The global nitrogen retention in AUG by implantation into the tungsten surfaces saturates. At JET the steady state nitrogen retention is increased by co-deposition with beryllium. The tokamak experiments are interpreted in detail by simulations of the global migration with WallDYN. Mass spectrometry of the exhaust gas of AUG and JET has revealed the conversion of nitrogen to ammonia at percent-levels. Conclusions are drawn on the potential implications of nitrogen seeding on the operation of a reactor in a deuterium-tritium mix.
- nitrogen seeding