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Key physics issues in the design of a high-beta quasi-axisymmetric stellarator configuration are discussed. The goal of the design study is a compact stellarator configuration with aspect ratio comparable to that of tokamaks and good transport and stability properties. Quasi-axisymmetry has been used to provide good drift trajectories. Ballooning stabilization has been accomplished by strong axisymmetric shaping, yielding a stellarator whose core is in the second stability regime for ballooning modes even in the absence of a conducting wall. The resulting configuration is also found to be robustly stable o vertical modes, increasing the freedom to perform axisymmetric shaping. Stability to neoclassical tearing modes is conferred by a monotically increasing profile. A gyrokinetic code has been used to confirm the adequacy of the neoclassical confinement. Neutral beam losses have been evaluated with Monte Carlo codes.

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Bibliographic Reference: Article: Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 41 (1999), B273-B283
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