Heuristic drift-based model of the power scrape-off width in low-gas-puff H-mode tokamaks

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A heuristic model for the plasma scrape-off width in low-gas-puff tokamak H-mode plasmas is introduced. Grad B and curv B drifts into the scrape-off layer (SOL) are balanced against near-sonic parallel flows out of the SOL, to the divertor plates. The overall particle flow pattern posited is a modification for open field lines of Pfirsch-Schlüter flows to include order-unity sinks to the divertors. These assumptions result in an estimated SOL width of ∼2aρ p/R. They also result in a first-principles calculation of the particle confinement time of H-mode plasmas, qualitatively consistent with experimental observations. It is next assumed that anomalous perpendicular electron thermal diffusivity is the dominant source of heat flux across the separatrix, investing the SOL width, derived above, with heat from the main plasma. The separatrix temperature is calculated based on a two-point model balancing power input to the SOL with Spitzer-Härm parallel thermal conduction losses to the divertor. This results in a heuristic closed-form prediction for the power scrape-off width that is in reasonable quantitative agreement both in absolute magnitude and in scaling with recent experimental data. Further work should include full numerical calculations, including all magnetic and electric drifts, as well as more thorough comparison with experimental data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013009
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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