The effect of tangential drifts on neoclassical transport in stellarators close to omnigeneity

Iván Calvo, Felix I. Parra, José Luis Velasco, J. Arturo Alonso

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In general, the orbit-averaged radial magnetic drift of trapped particles in stellarators is non-zero due to the three-dimensional nature of the magnetic field. Stellarators in which the orbit-averaged radial magnetic drift vanishes are called omnigeneous, and they exhibit neoclassical transport levels comparable to those of axisymmetric tokamaks. However, the effect of deviations from omnigeneity cannot be neglected in practice, and it is more deleterious at small collisionalities. For sufficiently low collision frequencies (below the values that define the regime), the components of the drifts tangential to the flux surface become relevant. This article focuses on the study of such collisionality regimes in stellarators close to omnigeneity when the gradient of the non-omnigeneous perturbation is small. First, it is proven that closeness to omnigeneity is required to actually preserve radial locality in the drift-kinetic equation for collisionalities below the regime. Then, using the derived radially local equation, it is shown that neoclassical transport is determined by two layers located at different regions of phase space. One of the layers corresponds to the so-called regime and the other to the so-called superbanana-plateau regime. The importance of the superbanana-plateau layer for the calculation of the tangential electric field is emphasized, as well as the relevance of the latter for neoclassical transport in the collisionality regimes considered in this paper. In particular, the role of the tangential electric field is essential for the emergence of a new subregime of superbanana-plateau transport when the radial electric field is small. A formula for the ion energy flux that includes the regime and the superbanana-plateau regime is given. The energy flux scales with the square of the size of the deviation from omnigeneity. Finally, it is explained why below a certain collisionality value the formulation presented in this article ceases to be valid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number055014
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 30 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


  • neoclassical transport
  • omnigeneity
  • optimization
  • stellarator


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