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Chapter 8: Plasma operation and control

Funded under: FP7-EURATOM


The ITER plasma control system has the same functional scope as the control systems in present tokamaks. These are plasma operation scenario sequencing, plasma basic control (magnetic and kinetic), plasma advanced control (control of RWMs, NTMs, ELMs, error fields, etc) and plasma fast shutdown. This chapter considers only plasma initiation and plasma basic control. This chapter describes the progress achieved in these areas in the tokamak experiments since the ITER Physics Basis was written and the results of assessment of ITER to provide the plasma initiation and basic control. This assessment was done for the present ITER design (15 MA machine) at a more detailed level than it was done for the ITER design 1998 (21 MA machine) described in the ITER Physics Basis. The experiments on plasma initiation performed in DIII-D and JT-60U, as well as the theoretical studies performed for ITER, have demonstrated that, within specified assumptions on the plasma confinement and the impurity influx, ITER can produce plasma initiation in a low toroidal electric field (0.3 V m{-1}), if it is assisted by about 2 MW of ECRF heating. The plasma basic control includes control of the plasma current, position and shape-the plasma magnetic control, as well as control of other plasma global parameters or their profiles-the plasma performance control. The magnetic control is based on more reliable and simpler models of the control objects than those available at present for the plasma kinetic control. Moreover the real time diagnostics used for the magnetic control in many cases are more precise than those used for the kinetic control. Because of these reasons, the plasma magnetic control was developed for modern tokamaks and assessed for ITER better than the kinetic control. However, significant progress has been achieved in the plasma performance control during the last few years.

Additional information

Authors: GRIBOV Y, ITER Organization, Cadarache Centre, St Paul Lez Durance (FR);SHIMADA M, ITER Organization, Cadarache Centre, St Paul Lez Durance (FR);HUMPHREYS D, General Atomics, San Diego (US);KAJIWARA K, General Atomics, San Diego (US);WESLEY J C, General Atomics, San Diego (US);LAZARUS E A, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge (US);LISTER J B, Centre de Recherches en Physique des Plasmas, Association EURATOM-Confédération Suisse, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (CH);OZEKI T, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Naka-shi, Ibaraki (JP);PORTONE A, EFDA Close Support Unit, Garching (DE);SIPS A C C, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, IPP-EURATOM Association, Garching (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: An article published in: Nuclear Fusion 47 (2007), pp. S385-S403
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