Plasma-material interactions in current tokamaks and their implications for next step fusion reactors
The major increase in discharge duration and plasma energy in a next step DT fusion reactor will give rise to important plasma-material effects that will critically influence its operation, safety and performance. Erosion will increase to a scale of several centimetres from being barely measurable at a micron scale in today's tokamaks. Tritium co-deposited with carbon will strongly affect the operation of machines with carbon plasma facing components. Controlling plasma-wall interactions is critical to achieving high performance in present day tokamaks, and this is likely to continue to be the case in the approach to practical fusion reactors. Recognition of the important consequences of these phenomena stimulated an internationally coordinated effort in the field of plasma-surface interactions supporting the Engineering Design Activities of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor project (ITER), and significant progress has been made in better understanding these issues. The paper reviews the underlying physical processes and the existing experimental database of plasma-material interactions both in tokamaks and laboratory simulation facilities for conditions of direct relevance to next step fusion reactors. Two main topical groups of interaction are considered: (i) erosion/re-deposition from plasma sputtering and disruptions, including dust and flake generation and (ii) tritium retention and removal. The use of modelling tools to interpret the experimental results and make projections for conditions expected in future devices is explained. Outstanding technical issues and specific recommendations on potential R&D avenues for their resolution are presented.
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Nuclear Fusion 41 (December 2001) pp.1967-2137
Availability: This article can be accessed online by subscribers, and can be ordered online by non-subscribers, at: http://stacks.iop.org/0029-5515/41/1967
Record Number: 200214964 / Last updated on: 2002-07-09
Original language: en
Available languages: en