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High gain requirements and high field tokamak experiments

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Operation at sufficiently high gain (ratio of fusion power to external heating power) is a fundamental requirement for tokamak power reactors. For typical reactor concepts, the gain is greater than 25. Self-heating from alpha particles in deuterium-tritium plasmas can greatly reducenτ/temperature requirements for high gain. A range of high gain operating conditions is possible with different values of alpha-particle efficiency (fraction of alpha-particle power that actually heats the plasma) and with different ratios of self heating to external heating. At one extreme, there is ignited operation, where all of the required plasma heating is provided by alpha particles and the alpha-particle efficiency is 100%. At the other extreme, there is the case of no heating contribution from alpha particles.nτ/temperature requirements for high gain are determined as a function of alpha-particle heating efficiency. Possibilities for high gain experiments in deuterium-tritium, deuterium, and hydrogen plasmas are discussed.

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Cohn, D.R. High gain requirements and high field tokamak experiments. J Fusion Energ 13, 271–274 (1994).

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Key Words

  • Ignition
  • Tokamak
  • high gain