Snowflake divertor configuration studies in National Spherical Torus Experiment

V. A. Soukhanovskii, R. E. Bell, A. Diallo, S. Gerhardt, S. Kaye, E. Kolemen, B. P. Leblanc, A. G. McLean, J. E. Menard, S. F. Paul, M. Podesta, R. Raman, T. D. Rognlien, A. L. Roquemore, D. D. Ryutov, F. Scotti, M. V. Umansky, D. Battaglia, M. G. Bell, D. A. GatesR. Kaita, R. Maingi, D. Mueller, S. A. Sabbagh

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69 Scopus citations


Experimental results from NSTX indicate that the snowflake divertor (D. Ryutov, Phys. Plasmas 14, 064502 (2007)) may be a viable solution for outstanding tokamak plasma-material interface issues. Steady-state handling of divertor heat flux and divertor plate erosion remains to be critical issues for ITER and future concept devices based on conventional and spherical tokamak geometry with high power density divertors. Experiments conducted in 4-6 MW NBI-heated H-mode plasmas in NSTX demonstrated that the snowflake divertor is compatible with high-confinement core plasma operation, while being very effective in steady-state divertor heat flux mitigation and impurity reduction. A steady-state snowflake divertor was obtained in recent NSTX experiments for up to 600 ms using three divertor magnetic coils. The high magnetic flux expansion region of the scrape-off layer (SOL) spanning up to 50 of the SOL width λ q was partially detached in the snowflake divertor. In the detached zone, the heat flux profile flattened and decreased to 0.5-1 MW/m 2 (from 4-7 MW/m 2 in the standard divertor) indicative of radiative heating. An up to 50 increase in divertor, P r a d in the snowflake divertor was accompanied by broadening of the intrinsic C III and C IV radiation zones, and a nearly order of magnitude increase in divertor high-n Balmer line emission indicative of volumetric recombination onset. Magnetic reconstructions showed that the x-point connection length, divertor plasma-wetted area and divertor volume, all critical parameters for geometric reduction of deposited heat flux, and increased volumetric divertor losses were significantly increased in the snowflake divertor, as expected from theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number082504
JournalPhysics of Plasmas
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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