Significant progress has been made with ion cyclotron range of frequencies (ICRF) heating in the Large Helical Device. This is mainly due to better confinement of the helically trapped particles and less accumulation of impurities in the region of the plasma core. During the past two years, ICRF heating power has been increased from 1.35 to 2.7 MW. Various wave-mode tests were carried out using minority-ion heating, second-harmonic heating, slow-wave heating and high-density fast-wave heating at the fundamental cyclotron frequency. This fundamental heating mode extended the plasma density range of effective ICRF heating to a value of 1 × 1020m-3. This use of the heating mode was its first successful application in large fusion devices. Using the minority-ion mode gave the best performance, and the stored energy reached 240 kJ using ICRF alone. This was obtained for the inward-shifted magnetic axis configuration. The improvement associated with the axis-shift was common for both bulk plasma and highly accelerated particles. For the minority-ion mode, high-energy ions up to 500 keV were observed by concentrating the heating power near the plasma axis. The confinement properties of high-energy particles were studied for different magnetic axis configurations, using the power-modulation technique. It confirmed that with the inward-shifted configuration the confinement of high-energy particles was better than with the normal configuration. By increasing the distance of the plasma to the vessel wall to about 2 cm, the impurity influx was sufficiently reduced to allow sustainment of the plasma with ICRF heating alone for more than 2 min.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics