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Some of the more fundamental problems in the development of a viable thermonuclear fusion reactor involve the many types of instabilities which can enhance energy outflow and even destroy the magnetic confinement of fusion plasmas. Knowledge of these instabilities derived from supercomputer calculations is a prerequisite for a good understanding of the results of existing experiments, and for the designing of new devices. Much effort at the EPFL has been devoted to the study of magnetohydrodynamic instabilities in axisymmetric toroidal configurations such as tokamaks or reversed field pinches, where the toroidal magnetic field is produced by external magnetic field coils, and the poloidal field originates from an induced toroidal current. The behaviour of helically twisted toroidal devices such as stellarators, where the toroidal and poloidal fields are generated by external coils, has also been investigated. An example of a three-dimensional (3-D) configuration is the Wendelstein VII-X (W7X) stellarator. One of the final goals of these ideal 3-D MHD stability computations is to find stable configurations in which the plasma energy in a relatively dense gas (containing more than 1.0 E20 particles/m2) at a temperature of 1.0 E8 K, can be magnetically confined for at least 1 second.

Additional information

Authors: GRUBER R, Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Lausanne (CH)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Europhysics News, Vol. 22 (1991) pp. 93-96
Record Number: 199110883 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en
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