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BASIC ISSUES FOR a D-T

THERMONUCLEAR REACTOR
Triple product nT should exceed a given value for
given Q for T in range of 10-20 keV
nT > 5.0 x 1021 m-3 keV s for infinite Q
n requires production & fueling of dense plasma
requires confinement of plasma for desire
energy confinement
T requires heating the dense plasma to 10-20keV
Basic Issues:
Plasma production and fueling for require n
Plasma Confinement for required
Plasma Heating
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Plasma Confinement:
Hot plasma, to be confined, away from material walls

Three principle mechanism


for confining these hot
plasmas Gravitational
Magnetic confinement
Inertial confinement

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Gravitational confinement
One force capable of confining the fuel well enough to satisfy
the Lawson and ignition criteria is gravity.
The mass needed, however, is so great that gravitational
confinement is only found in stars.
In stars heavy enough, after the supply of hydrogen is
exhausted in their cores, their cores (or a shell around the
core) start fusing helium to carbon and onwards to Iron..

Fusion Reactions in Sun


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Magnetic

Inertial

The two different approaches both require fuel


temperatures near 10-20 keV and
n 2-31020 m-3sec
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Magnetic Confinement

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The Fusion fuel at high temperature acquires plasma


state containing negative charged electrons and
positively charged nuclei (ions).
Charged particles are known to gyrate around magnetic
field, if they have velocity component perpendicular to
magnetic field

A plasma kept in a magnetic field can thus, in principle,


be confined, in direction perpendicular to applied
magnetic field
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Motion of charged particles:

= = + /

When only electrical field is present:

Charged particles are accelerated along the electrical field direction.

When only magnetic field is present:

Motion along magnetic field lines is not affected and particle continues
to move with its initial velocity.
Motion perpendicular to the magnetic field leads to rotation (gyration)
around the magnetic field.
Gyro-frequency = /

Gyro-radius (Larmor Radius) =

Particle orbits are know as Larmor Orbits

When both the magnetic field and the electrical field are present:
Charged particles undergo different kinds of drifts depending upon
direction and nature of the fields.
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Linear Magnetic confinement Devices


Long Solenoids
Magnetic Mirrors

Cylindrical Pinches

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Toroidal Confinement systems


Leakage from the ends of the long solenoid may, perhaps be solved,
if the long cylinder is joined from end to end, forming a magnetic
torus.
A torus is like a dough-nut or car tube and a magnetic torus has
magnetic field lines which are curved and closed.

This simplistic approach, however


does not work, even from the point
of view of Particle Drifts.

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Charged Particle drifts in Magnetic fields and other forces

=+

Parallel
Motion

Polarization Drift
Gyration

Gradient Drift
ExB Drift

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Curvature Drift

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Toroidal Magnetic Field


The magnetic field follows
from

and therefore varies with major


radius R as

The filed lines are curved.


2
=

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Note that the sign of the drift


depends on the charge q

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Toroidal Field Gradient


The toroidal magnetic field has
a gradient

Which leads to a drift in the


vertical direction

Note that the sign of


the drift depends on the
charge q

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The drifts (gradient and curvature)

Leads to charge separation


Build up of an electric field
And then to an ExB motion which
is charge independent

The ExB velocity is directed outward and will move the plasma
on the wall in a short timescale
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Pure Toroidal Systems


Thus in a pure toroidal system, the gradient and curvature drifts,
resulting in charge separation and consequential Electric field
which leads to loss of plasma via ExB drift of the particles.
The problem in toroidal system is thus of confinement, like in open
systems.
Various closed configurations differ primarily in the manner in
which they deal with this problem. The preferred approach is to
prevent charge separation.
Introduction of a poloidal field, will result in helical filed lines,
connecting the top region with bottom, and motion of particles
along the field lines will cancel this charge separation

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Rotational Transform
The charge separation can be cancelled out by
twisting the toroidal field lines to form helicesthis act of twisting of field lines is called
providing Rotational Transform.
Top and bottom are then connected by the
magnetic field line. Drift will be balanced by a
return flow
A helical field line will therefore connect the
regions of positive and negative charge along
the field.
A toroidal current in the plasma will generate
such a poloidal field (Tokamak).
Poloidal field can alternately be generated by
external coils carrying current in toroidal
direction (Stellarator).

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TOKAMAK
Toroidal confinement need addition of poloidal field to the
toroidal magnetic field.
One such device, which deploys toroidal current for this
purpose, is a Tokamak, a special magnetic bottle, first
conceived in Russia
TOKAMAK is the acronym for Russian word Toroidalnya
Kamera Magnetnaya Katushka meaning the toroidal chamber
in magnetic field.
In Tokamak configuration the confinement is achieved by
inducing a current along the toroidal magnetic field, which then
gives rise to a poloidal field.
The combination of the toroidal field and poloidal field results in
a helical field.

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Tokamaks

In a Tokamak the plasma is confined


in the vacuum chamber using a
combination of toroidal magnetic
fields produced by external toroidal
field (TF) magnets, placed around
the vacuum chamber, and the
poloidal magnetic field produced by
internal plasma current.
The plasma is produced by gas breakdown using Ohmic
transformer, which is also used to drive current in the plasma,
and thus heat the plasma for a period fixed by the flux stored in
the Ohmic transformer.
The self magnetic field of the plasma current and the external
toroidal magnetic field generate the closed magnetic field
surfaces, which confine the plasma in the vessel.
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Tokamak- Plasma current


Because of the plasma current the field
lines wind around hellically
Resistivity is small but finite
The field lines wind around helically.
Note that the toroidal electric field that drives the current can not be electrostatic (Electrostatic Potential drops cannot be sustained along magnetic Field)

Tokamak is a transformer with a single turn secondary the plasma". The


magnetic flux change in the primary, induces a plasma current given by:

= =

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Coordinate System & Rotational Transform

R the Major Radius; r the minor radius

p
Bt the toroidal magnetic field
Bp the poloidal magnetic field
B the total magnetic field
the pitch angle of the field line
p the distance covered by Field line
as it goes by 2R distance in toroidal in
direction
- the rotational transform

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= 2 tan = 2 =

= 2

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Safety Factor

Safety Factor q:
Defined as number of rotations a field line makes in toroidal
direction per rotation in poloidal direction.

Since is the number of rotations in poloidal direction per


2
rotation in toroidal direction, we have
1
2
0
2 2 2
=
=
=
; =
=
=
2

2
0
0
For stable operation q at plasma edge should be > 3. Thus
the maximum current in plasma is given as
22

30
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Electric field induced


An iron core or air core winding on the axis of symmetry is added

Cylindrical approximation
Amperes Law

Iron Core Transformer

. = 0

= =

=

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Air Core Transformer

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The toroidal electric field

Plasma is the second winding of a transformer


Flux in the core cannot be increased forever.
The tokamak is necessarily a pulsed machine
That is not good for energy production
Also thermal stresses are associated with the pulsed
character
One can either: live with it / drive current another way
/ use a different concept

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Physics of Tokamaks

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Equilibrium
Stability
Confinement (insulation)
Plasma Current
Heating
First Wall & Plasma Facing Components

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Tokamak Equilibrium
Magnetic field Topology in a tokamak
The pressure gradient is balance by the
electromotive force.
=

. =
Field lines lie on constant pressure surfaces.

B is not singular. Constant pressure surfaces


are bound.
Constant pressure surfaces are nested tori.
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Tokamak Equilibrium
I

Derive force from


LI 2
Force
R 2
With the self-inductance of a ring
L 0 R(ln

8R 7
)
a
4

gives an outward force on the


plasma

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0 I 2 8R

3
ln

2 a 4

A current carrying ring tends to


expand under the influence of
its own field (Hoop Force)

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Tokamak Equilibrium Needs Vertical Field


In order to counteract the expansion force, an external magnetic
field must be applied,
= 2
0
8 3
=

4
The plasma pressure, as well as the current, applies an outward
force.
0
8
1
=

+ 1 +
4

2
2
Additional magnetic coils, known as vertical field coils, are installed
for this purpose.

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EQUILIBRIUM
The equilibrium thus demands that a vertical field
added to the poloidal field generated by the current.

be

While vertical field interacting with the plasma current


generates a radial force which opposes radial expansion
of the plasma.
The magnetic configuration required for the plasma
equilibrium in tokamak consists of :
Toroidal magnetic field produced by a set of external
coils;
Poloidal field produced by current induced in plasma in
toroidal direction
Vertical fields produced by a set of external coils.

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STABILITY
The combination of fields described above can generate an
equilibrium tokamak configuration. Stability analysis will then tell us
whether this equilibrium is stable or unstable.
Tokamaks have two origins of instability i.e. two energy sources of
excitation of fluctuations:
Plasma Thermal energy (plasma pressure).
Magnetic energy of current
The plasma pressure is product of density and temperature; as the
reactivity of plasma increases with both these quantities, it implies
that plasma pressure should be as high as possible.
The pressure which can be confined is determined by the stability
considerations, which increases with strength of the magnetic field.
In copper coils the magnetic field is limited by forces and cooling
consideration. The field from SC magnets is limited to ~12T at
conductor and hence 6-8 T at plasma center.
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STABILITY

For a given toroidal field, the plasma pressure which can be stably
confined, increases with the plasma current up to a limiting value.

The resulting poloidal fields are an order of magnitude smaller that


toroidal field.
As seen above, to balance forces of magnetic and plasma pressure
a vertical field is required.
Further for stability of plasma against motion in radial and vertical
directions, there should be radial component of the field and the
spatial variation of the vertical field should have a gradient defined
by
=

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; 0 1.5

+ 1

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STABILITY
Plasma Shaping
Dominant shaping is the elongation of the plasma. This is
achieved by two coils on the top and bottom of the plasma
with a current in the direction of the plasma current .
There are advantages for confinement and achievable
pressure with plasmas which are vertically elongated.
Distance to go around poloidally is larger

For the same plasma current


If q = 3 is the limit of operation one can run a larger current
in an elliptically shaped plasma
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STABILITY: Plasma Elongation

Shaping coils allow for plasma to be diverted onto the


divertor-plates

Control of the shape requires additional magnetic field


coils, carrying toroidal current, placed suitably.
In elongated plasmas, one of the key instabilities is the
vertical instability
Shaping the current ring, elongating it, makes it unstable
to vertical displacements. Motion towards one coil leads to
imbalance and instability.
Because the plasma has almost no mass whilst forces
are very large, instabilities can be very fast. Surrounding
conducting structures (the vacuum vessel and passive
stabilizers) slow the movement enough to be controlled
with feedback coils.
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Passive stabilizers

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STABILITY

There are other possible instabilities, which are specific to plasmas as


opposed to rigid current rings.
VDE:
If we put too much current in the ring then the toroidal field is no
longer strong enough to suppress gross instabilities.
This can lead to a sudden loss of energy coupled with loss loss of
position control.
A resulting Vertical Displacement Event (VDE) is not good.
In a VDE, the plasma can contact the vessel, driving further currents
in the vessel known as Halo Currents.
Magnetic energy can give rise to helical instabilities viz. Kink instabilities
and tearing mode instabilities. The thermal energy in turn excites flute and
ballooning modes.
In addition several instabilities involving magnetic perturbations which can
modify magnetic field structure.
One of the major efforts of the research has been the study and
understanding of these instabilities and finding ways and means of
controlling them.
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CONFINEMENT
To achieve thermonuclear fusion condition, it is necessary to
confine the plasma energy of sufficiently long time.
Global confinement time (E), using energy balance condition,
can be expressed as

E = 1.5 n (Te+ Ti)/P

The convection, conduction and radiation processes in plasma


limit the confinement.

Radiation, arising from bremsstrahlung & electron cyclotron


emissions, gives rise to an irreducible component of energy loss.
Even line radiation from high Z impurities can present a serious
problem and hence control of high Z impurities has been a
serious research effort in Tokamaks.
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CONFINEMENT
Further for tokamak plasma, having a set of nested surfaces,
there is another irreducible loss rate resulting from particle
diffusion through Coulomb collisions.
In cylindrical geometry this diffusion process is known as
Classical Diffusion.
The reduced symmetry of the toroidal configuration leads to
enhanced level of transport known as Neo-classical Diffusion.

Detailed analysis of experimental data reveals that ion-thermal


transport is similar to neo-classical value but the electron thermal
diffusion exceeds the neo-classical value and leads to anomalous
transport.
This anomalous transport is associated with instabilities.
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CONFINEMENT
Even if the instabilities preserve the topology of the magnetic
surfaces, enhanced particle losses can result from drifts arising
from fluctuations in electric fields.
A host of micro-instabilities have been invoked as source of these
fluctuations.
Large number of possibilities for the cause of anomalous transport
make it difficult to have a model of confinement time.
Numerical scaling, based on fitting of large experimental data
base, have, therefore, been done to estimate the confinement time.
is found to increase with size of tokamak
Present tokamaks have proportional to a2.
increase with plasma current but decreases with plasma
pressure
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Plasma Elongation:
Improved Confinement
A transition phenomenon is
observed in Divertor
plasmas known as the L
(low) to H (high
confinement) transition
In this transition a steep
pressure profile is generated
at the plasma edge
Not very well understood
Confinement improvement
is roughly a factor 2 !!!!

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