Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 49 / Number 2T / February 2006 / Pages 167-176
Technical Paper / Plasma and Fusion Energy Physics - Plasma Heating and Current Drive
The additional heating of plasmas by injection of fast neutrals - or Neutral Beam Injection (NBI) - is reviewed. First, the limitations of ohmic heating in tokamaks and the other motivations for using additional heating in fusion machines are discussed. Next, the principle of operation of neutral beam injectors, and state of the art, are outlined. Positive-ion (PNBI) and negative-ion (NNBI) based concepts are discussed. Next, the physical processes by which the beam transfers energy to the plasma, namely ionisation and slowing-down are described. For both, an elementary theory is given and the comparison with experimental results is made. Applications of NBI to heating, current drive and rotation drive are reviewed. The prospects of NBI for ITER are commented.