Turbulent transport of impurities in 3D devices

J. M. García-Regaa, M. Barnes, I. Calvo, A. González-Jerez, H. Thienpondt, E. Sánchez, F. I. Parra, D. A. St.-Onge

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7 Scopus citations


The evidence of a large diffusive turbulent contribution to the radial impurity transport in Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) plasmas has been experimentally inferred during the first campaigns and numerically confirmed by means of gyrokinetic simulations with the code stella. In general, the absence of strong impurity accumulation during the initial W7-X campaigns is attributed to this diffusive term. Given the large variety of possible stellarator configurations, in the present work the diffusive contribution is also calculated in other stellarator plasmas. In particular, a numerical cross-device comparison is presented, where the diffusion (D) and convection (V) coefficients of carbon and iron impurities produced by ion-temperature-gradient (ITG) turbulence are obtained. The simulations have been performed for the helias W7-X, the heliotron LHD, the heliac TJ-II and the quasi-axisymmetric stellarator NCSX at the radial position r/a = 0.75. The results show that, although the size of D and V can differ across the four devices, inward convection is found for all of them. For W7-X, TJ-II and NCSX the two coefficients are comparable and the turbulent peaking factor is surprisingly similar. In LHD, appreciably weaker diffusive and convective impurity transport and significantly larger turbulent peaking factor, in comparison with the other three stellarators, are predicted. All this suggests that ITG turbulence, although not strongly, would lead to negative impurity density gradients in stellarators. Then, considering mixed ITG/trapped electron mode (TEM) turbulence for the specific case of W7-X, it has been quantitatively assessed to what degree pellet fueled reduced turbulence scenarios feature reduced turbulent transport of impurities as well. The results for trace iron impurities show that, although their turbulent transport is not entirely suppressed, a significant reduction of the convection and a stronger decrease of the diffusion term are found. Although the diffusion is still above neoclassical levels, the neoclassical convection would gain under such conditions a greater specific weight on the dynamics of impurities in comparison with standard ECRH scenarios without pellet fueling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number116019
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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