Experimental evidence of electron-cyclotron current drive-based neoclassical tearing mode suppression threshold reduction during mode locking on DIII-D

A. O. Nelson, N. C. Logan, W. Choi, E. J. Strait, E. Kolemen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The repetitive locking-unlocking process of a large neoclassical tearing mode (NTM) is studied on the DIII-D tokamak. Cyclical periods of partial suppression are achieved when β p and the expected bootstrap current JBS drop upon back-transitions to L-mode. Diminished L-mode bootstrap current is required to explain decreased island size as modeled by the generalized Rutherford equation. At EC power levels too low to fully suppress the NTM, partial suppression is enough to reduce the torque on the mode to the point where viscous drag from the background plasma overcomes the electromagnetic torque and restores fast plasma rotation and H-mode. Additional current drive is shown to further reduce the size of the mode until full suppression is achieved. These results suggest that the suppression of locked modes may be aided by the lower bootstrap current in L-mode plasmas, possibly improving chances of disruption avoidance in ITER.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number094002
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Volume62
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics

Keywords

  • bootstrap current
  • ECCD
  • locked modes
  • NTM
  • tokamak

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