Optimization of the snowflake divertor for power and particle exhaust on NSTX–U

P. J. Vail, O. Izacard, E. Kolemen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this paper, simple analytical modeling and numerical simulations performed with the multi-fluid edge transport code UEDGE are used to identify optimal snowflake divertor (SFD) configurations for heat flux mitigation and sufficient cryopumping performance on the National Spherical Torus eXperiment Upgrade (NSTX–U). A model is presented that describes the partitioning of sheath-limited SOL power and particle exhaust in the SFD as a result of diffusive transport to multiple activated strike points. The model is validated against UEDGE predictions and used to analyze a database of 70 SFD-minus equilibria. The optimal location for the entrance to a divertor cryopumping system on NSTX–U is computed for enabling sufficient pumping performance with acceptable power loading in a variety of SFD-minus configurations. UEDGE simulations of one promising equilibrium from the database indicate that a significant redistribution of power to the divertor legs occurs as a result of neutral particle removal near one of the SFD-minus strike points in the outboard scrape-off layer. It is concluded that pump placement at the optimal location is advantageous as the large number of compatible equilibria reduces the precision required of real-time SFD configuration control systems and enables acceptable divertor solutions even if UEDGE-predicted power redistribution slightly reduces the achievable pumping performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)516-523
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Materials and Energy
StatePublished - May 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


  • NSTX-U
  • cryopump
  • snowflake divertor


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