Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 48 / Number 2 / October 2005 / Pages 1117-1126
Technical Paper / DIII-D Tokamak - Plasma Heat and Particle Exhaust / dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST05-A1064
Density limit studies over the past 10 yr on DIII-D have successfully identified several processes that limit plasma density in various operating modes. The recent focus of these studies has been on maintenance of the high-density operational window with good H-mode level energy confinement. We find that detachment and onset of multifaceted axisymmetric radiation from the edge (MARFE), fueling efficiency, particle confinement, and magnetohydrodynamic activity can impose density limits in certain regimes. By studying these processes, we have devised techniques with either pellets or gas fueling and divertor pumping to achieve line average density above Greenwald scaling, relying on increasing the ratio of pedestal to separatrix density, as well as density profile peaking. The scaling of several of these processes to next-step devices (e.g., the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) has indicated that sufficiently high pedestal density can be achieved with conventional fueling techniques while ensuring divertor partial detachment needed for heat flux reduction. One density limit process requiring further study is neoclassical tearing mode (NTM) onset, and techniques for avoidance/mitigation of NTMs need additional development in present-day devices operated at high density.