Long-pulse neutral beam injection heating has been achieved in the large helical device (LHD). Two different confinement states are observed for different averaged densities in the long-pulse plasmas. A quasi-steady-state plasma was sustained for 21 s with an injection power of 0.6 MW, where the central plasma temperature was around 1 keV with a line-averaged electron density of 0.3×1019 m-3. The discharge duration can be so extended as to keep the plasma properties in the short-pulse discharge. The energy confinement time is nearly the same as that of the short-pulse discharge, which is 1.3 times as long as the international stellarator scaling ISS95. At higher densities, a relaxation oscillation phenomenon, observed as if the plasma would breathe, lasted for 20 s with a period of 1-2 s. The phenomenon is characterized with profile expansion and contraction of the electron temperature. The density oscillation is out of phase with the temperature oscillation and is related to the density clamping phenomenon. The observed plasma properties are shown in detail for the `breathing' oscillation phenomenon. Possible mechanisms for the breathing oscillation are also discussed, with a view of the screening effect near the last closed magnetic surface and the power balance between the heating and the radiation powers. The long-pulse heating results indicate unique characteristics of the LHD where no special feedback stabilization is required due to absence of disruption and no need for current drive.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering
- Condensed Matter Physics