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The first systematic study on the mass dependence of the L mode density limit is reported for JET hydrogen, deuterium, and tritium divertor plasmas. The density limit, defined as the density at the onset of the X point MARFE, is found to scale inversely with the ion mass in vertical target configurations, while no isotope effect is found in horizontal target configurations. Two dimensional numerical simulations reproduce the observed mass dependence in the vertical discharges. The experiments indicate a coupling between the mass and the power dependence of the L mode density limit. The experimental result are compared with analytical models, which suggest that the ion-neutral transverse collisionality plays a role in the density limit

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Bibliographic Reference: Article: Nuclear Fusion 39 (1999) 8, 979-991
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