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Recent results from the ASDEX Upgrade experimental campaigns 2001 and 2002 are presented. An improved understanding of energy and particle transport emerges in terms of a 'critical gradient' model for the temperature gradients. Coupling this to particle diffusion explains most of the observed behaviour of the density profiles, in particular, the finding that strong central heating reduces the tendency for density profile peaking. Internal transport barriers (ITBs) with electron and ion temperatures in excess of 20 keV (but not simultaneously) have been achieved. By shaping the plasma, a regime with small type II edge localized modes (ELMs) has been established.

Here, the maximum power deposited on the target plates was greatly reduced at constant average power. Also, an increase of the ELM frequency by injection of shallow pellets was demonstrated. ELM free operation is possible in the quiescent H-mode regime previously found in DIII-D which has also been established on ASDEX Upgrade. Regarding stability, a regime with benign neoclassical tearing modes (NTMs) was found. During electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD) stabilization of NTMs, beta(N) could be increased well above the usual onset level without a reappearance of the NTM.

Electron cyclotron resonance heating and ECCD have also been used to control the sawtooth repetition frequency at a moderate fraction of the total heating power. The inner wall of the ASDEX Upgrade vessel has increasingly been covered with tungsten without causing detrimental effects on the plasma performance. Regarding scenario integration, a scenario with a large fraction of noninductively driven current (>= 50%), but without ITB has been established. It combines improved confinement (tau(E)/tau(ITER98) = 1.2) and stability (beta(N) <= 3.5) at high Greenwald fraction (n(e)/n(GW) = 0.85) in steady state and with type II ELMy edge and would offer the possibility for long pulses with high fusion power at reduced current in ITER.

Additional information

Authors: ZOHM H (Editor), Max-Planck-Institut f¨ur Plasmaphysik, EURATOM Association, Garching, Germany
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Nucl. Fusion 43 (2003) 1570�1582 PII: S0029-5515(03)64081-0
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