(EX/P8-12) Evaluating Electron Cyclotron Current Drive Stabilization of Neoclassical Tearing Modes in ITER: Implications of Experiments in ASDEX-U, DIII-D, JET, and JT-60U

R.J. La Haye1), R. Prater1), R.J. Buttery2), N. Hayashi3), A. Isayama3), M.E. Maraschek4), L. Urso4), H. Zohm4)
1) General Atomics, San Diego, California, United States of America
2) EURATOM/UKAEA Fusion Association, Culham, UK
3) Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Naka, Japan
4) Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Garching, Germany

Abstract.  Resistive neoclassical tearing mode (NTM) islands will be the principal limit on stability and performance in ITER as beta is well below the ideal kink limit. NTM island control in ITER is predicted to be challenging both because of the relatively narrower marginal island widths and the relatively broader electron cyclotron current drive (ECCD). Measurements from ASDEX Upgrade, DIII-D, and JET in beta rampdown experiments are used to determine the marginal island size for m/n=3/2 NTM removal. This is compared to data from ASDEX Upgrade, DIII-D and JT-60U with elimination of the m/n=3/2 island by continuous ECCD at near constant beta. The empirical marginal island size is consistent in both sets of removal experiments and found to be about twice the ion banana width. A common methodology is developed for fitting the saturated m/n=3/2 island before (or without) ECCD in all four experimental devices. To this is added (and model tested to experiments) the effect of unmodulated co-ECCD on island stabilization including both replacing the missing bootstrap current and making the classical tearing stability index more negative. The experimentally benchmarked model is then used to evaluate ITER. The ITER ECCD upper launcher with up to 20 MW of injected power is appraised with or without modulation for both the m/n=3/2 mode and the m/n=2/1 NTM (which can lock to the resistive wall and induce disruption). An m/n=2/1 rotating island model with drag from eddy current induced in the resistive wall is used to predict the necessary ECCD to keep the island from locking as a function of the rotation in ITER. The planned relatively wide ECCD should be capable of regulating the island width to avoid mode locking with the anticipated rotation in ITER but there is little margin available for inevitable misalignment. Narrower ECCD of more power and/or more rotation in ITER would increase confidence in island control and successful operation.
* Work supported by U.S. DOE under DE-FC02-04ER54698, by EURATOM, the UK EPSRC, and the European Fusion Development Agreement.

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