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(PD/T-3) Major Progress on Tore Supra Toward Steady State Operation of Tokamaks

B. Saoutic1), Equipe Tore Supra1)
1) Euratom-CEA Association, CEA Cadarache, France

Abstract.  During winter 2000-2001, a major upgrade of the internal components of Tore Supra has been completed that increased the heat extraction capability to 25 MW in steady state. Operating Tore Supra in this new configuration has produced a wealth of new results. The highlights of the 2002 long duration discharges campaign are: 4 minutes 25 seconds long discharges with an integrated energy of 0.75 GJ, which is three time higher than the old Tore Supra world record; recharge of the primary transformer by Lower Hybrid Current Drive (LHCD) for about 1 minute; 4 minutes long LHCD pulses; 1 minute long Ion Cyclotron Resonant Heating (ICRH) pulse (0.11 GJ of ICRH injected energy). Beyond the quantitative step, significant qualitative progress in the steady state nature of the discharge has been accomplished: contrary to the situation in the old Tore Supra configuration, the plasma density is perfectly controlled by active pumping over the overall shot duration. The duration of Tore Supra discharges is sufficient to allow the complete diffusion of the resistive current. Surprising new physics is revealed in such discharges when approaching zero loop voltage. Slow central electron temperature oscillations have been observed in a variety of situations. Such oscillations are not likely to be linked to any MHD instabilities and probably results from an interplay between current profile shape, LHCD power deposition and transport. Analysis of the temperature gradient in the core region shows a very interesting behaviour and the normalised temperature gradient length is compared to the critical thresholds. Finally, the performance of heating and current drive systems and the observations made of the interior of Tore Supra after the long duration discharges campaign are reported.

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IAEA 2003