Initial plasma production by townsend avalanche breakdown on QUEST tokamak

Makoto Hasegawa, Kazuaki Hanada, Kohnosuke Sato, Kazuo Nakamura, Hideki Zushi, Mizuki Sakamoto, Hiroshi Idei, Shoji Kawasaki, Hisatoshi Nakashima, Aki Higashijima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


On tokamak devices, an induction electric field induced by poloidal field (PF) coils plays a role to produce initial plasma. On a DIII-D tokamak, the required induction electric field for plasma breakdown agrees well with theoretical predictions based on the Townsend avalanche theory. According to the Townsend avalanche theory, the minimum induction electric field for plasma breakdown depends on neutral gas pressure and connection length. For stable plasma breakdown, a sufficiently large induction electric field is required. However, in the case of spherical tokamaks without electric insulation in the toroidal direction, the effect of eddy currents flowing in the toroidal direction should be considered in evaluating a feasible induction electric field because this effect suppresses the generation of an induction electric field. On a QUEST spherical tokamak, the possibility of Townsend avalanche breakdown is studied by evaluating the connection length and achievable induction electric field. The connection length is greater than 100 m in the case where a null point is set to be R = 0.56 m with a CS coil current of 2.0 kA and a PF26 coil current of 0.4kA. Moreover, the induction electric field is about 1.5 V at this point including the effect of eddy currents. With these values, the initial plasma production by the induction electric field is sufficiently possible on QUEST.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-292
Number of pages6
JournalJapanese Journal of Applied Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 18 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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