The effect of gas injection location on a lithium vapor box divertor in NSTX-U

E. D. Emdee, R. J. Goldston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The lithium vapor box divertor is a proposed divertor design that will minimize contamination of the upstream plasma in a fusion device, while also ensuring protection of the target. In this design lithium is evaporated near the target by high temperature lithium surfaces, dissipating the plasma heat flux. The lithium vapor box has been predicted via the fluid-kinetic code scrape off layer plasma simulator (SOLPS-ITER) to achieve low ( n L i / n e ∼ 0.05) upstream concentrations of lithium and low target heat fluxes. Here we compare two choices of deuterium gas puff location using SOLPS-ITER, the private flux region (PFR) and the common flux region (CFR), and find significant differences in the contamination level required to reach an acceptable target heat flux (defined here as q tar max ⩽ 10 MW m−2). Deuterium gas puffing from the PFR is seen to better reduce upstream lithium contamination. The difference in puffing location is seen to cause changes in the upstream flow of lithium ions. The PFR puff, having better access to the separatrix, can better reduce the upstream-directed flow of lithium near the separatrix which is the primary source of contamination due to a large thermal force in this region. Puffing from the CFR, partially due to inefficacy at reducing separatrix lithium flow, has higher lithium concentration within the plasma. Solutions that reduce the heat flux to below 10 MW m−2 have a range of lithium concentrations between n L i / n e ∼ 0.01-0.12 depending on puff intensity, location, evaporator temperature and recycling at the various plasma facing components. The efficacy of the puffs is tested for sensitivity to deuterium recycling coefficient at the target, evaporators, and main chamber walls. A CFR located puff is found to be more dependent on the recycling coefficients used than a PFR located puff. regardless of the set of recycling coefficients chosen, PFR puffing achieves lower lithium contamination than CFR puffing for a given heat flux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number096003
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • NSTX-U
  • closure
  • detachment
  • divertor
  • lithium
  • vapor box


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