Key plasma physics and real-time control elements needed for robustly stable operation of high fusion power discharges in ITER have been demonstrated in recent research worldwide. Recent analysis has identified the current density profile as the main drive for disruptive instabilities in discharges simulating ITER's baseline scenario with high and low external torque. Ongoing development of model-based profile control and active control of magnetohydrodynamic instabilities is improving the stability of multiple scenarios. Significant advances have been made toward real-time physics-based prediction of instabilities, including path-oriented analysis, active sensing, and machine learning techniques for prediction that are beginning to go beyond simple disruption mitigation trigger applications. Active intervention contributes to prevention of disruptions, including forced rotation of magnetic islands to prevent wall locking, and localized heating/current drive to shrink the islands. Stable discharge rampdowns have been achieved with the fastest ITER-like scaled current ramp rates, while maintaining an X-point configuration. These elements are being integrated into stable operating scenarios and new event-handling systems for off-normal events in order to develop the physics basis and techniques for robust control in ITER.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Condensed Matter Physics