Plasma Physics Reports

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 95–119 | Cite as

Current generation by helicons and lower hybrid waves in modern tokamaks and reactors ITER and DEMO. Scenarios, modeling and antennae

  • V. L. Vdovin


The innovative concept and 3D full-wave code modeling the off-axis current drive by radio-frequency (RF) waves in large-scale tokamaks, ITER and DEMO, for steady-state operation with high efficiency is proposed. The scheme uses the helicon radiation (fast magnetosonic waves at high (20–40) ion cyclotron frequency harmonics) at frequencies of 500–700 MHz propagating in the outer regions of the plasmas with a rotational transform. It is expected that the current generated by helicons, in conjunction with the bootstrap current, ensure the maintenance of a given value of the total current in the stability margin q(0) ≥ 2 and q(a) ≥ 4, and will help to have regimes with a negative magnetic shear and internal transport barrier to ensure stability at high normalized plasma pressure β N > 3 (the so-called advanced scenarios) of interest for the commercial reactor. Modeling with full-wave three-dimensional codes PSTELION and STELEC showed flexible control of the current profile in the reactor plasmas of ITER and DEMO, using multiple frequencies, the positions of the antennae and toroidal wave slow down. Also presented are the results of simulations of current generation by helicons in the DIII-D, T-15MD, and JT-60AS tokamaks. Commercially available continuous-wave klystrons of the MW/tube range are promising for commercial stationary fusion reactors. The compact antennae of the waveguide type are proposed, and an example of a possible RF system for today’s tokamaks is given. The advantages of the scheme (partially tested at lower frequencies in tokamaks) are a significant decline in the role of parametric instabilities in the plasma periphery, the use of electrically strong resonator-waveguide type antennae, and substantially greater antenna-plasma coupling.


Plasma Physic Report Radial Profile Lower Hybrid Power Deposition Neutral Beam Injection 
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© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Research Centre “Kurchatov Institute,”MoscowRussia

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