Burning Plasma: Bringing a Star to Earth by BPA

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An extrapolation from present experiments to the effective size of an energyproducing reactor entails substantial uncertainty, which can, however, be reduced NEXT STEPS FOR THE FUSION SCIENCE PROGRAM by studying a burning plasma experiment. The increase in effective plasma size at high plasma temperature is predicted to modify many phenomena that can determine the level of fusion power produced in a reactor. Understanding these effects is not feasible in the smaller-scale8 fusion experiments that are available to the scientific community today.

Turbulent transport. Understanding the transport in high-confinement mode (H-mode) discharges could lead to increases in energy gain and/or to operation at reduced current and magnetic field. • Edge-localized modes (ELMs). Understanding of these modes is needed in order to mitigate their effects on plasma-facing components, especially in the burning plasma regime. • Stabilizing neoclassical tearing modes. Controlling these high-pressure instabilities will expand the operation space of burning plasmas.

The integration of these varied tools and characteristics into a self-consistent scenario is a major focus of research. AT experiments in smaller facilities with a range of control tools and plasma-shape capabilities will complement and guide the AT studies in the burning plasma program and in ITER itself. • Test the effects of extreme toroidicity in the spherical torus. , the hole in the center of the torus is reduced to a small fraction of the plasma radius). The study of ST plasmas is of interest because it challenges tokamak-based physics understanding at the limits of toroidicity and shaping and provides access to plasmas of very high relative pressure and high fraction of self-generated currents.

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