For several reasons, improved-confinement achieved in the reversed field pinch (RFP) during the last few years can be characterized as 'tokamak-like'. Historically, RFP plasmas have had relatively poor confinement due to tearing instability which causes magnetic stochasticity and enhanced transport. Tearing reduction is achieved through modification of the inductive current drive, which dramatically improves confinement. The electron temperature increases to > 1 keV and the electron heat diffusivity decreases to ∼5 m2 s-1, comparable with the transport level expected in a tokamak plasma of the same size and current. This corresponds to a 10-fold increase in global energy confinement. Runaway electrons are confined, and Fokker-Planck modelling of the electron distribution reveals that the diffusion at high energy is independent of the parallel velocity, uncharacteristic of stochastic transport. Improved-confinement occurs simultaneously with increased beta ∼15%, while maintaining a magnetic field strength ten times weaker than a comparable tokamak. Measurements of the current, magnetic, and electric field profiles show that a simple Ohm's Law applies to this RFP sustained without dynamo relaxation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics