Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 42 / Number 2,3 / September 2002 / Pages 278-297
Progress in the understanding of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) stability is summarized on JT-60U tokamak discharges with improved confinement such as the (hot-ion) H-mode, high-p mode, high-p H-mode, and reversed shear discharges. Transport barriers, which are essential for the improved confinement, play key roles in the local and global MHD stability owing to the local large pressure gradient and the related bootstrap current. Disruptive limits of these discharges are consistent with theoretical ideal kink-ballooning stability limits with low toroidal mode numbers n. Achievable limit is improved by broadening of the pressure profile with high plasma internal inductance, plasma shaping, and wall stabilization. Edge localized modes (ELMs) and barrier localized modes (BLMs), which are associated with edge and internal transport barriers, respectively, are analyzed carefully. Resistive interchange modes with n 3 are excited in the negative shear region in reversed shear discharges with the internal transport barrier and lead to major collapse occasionally through nonlinear coupling with a tearing mode in the positive shear region. MHD characteristics of low m/n (m: poloidal mode number) tearing modes, which are attributed to the neoclassical tearing mode, are investigated. Stabilization of tearing modes and control of sawtooth activity are demonstrated using the fundamental O-mode electron cyclotron wave injection. Resistive wall modes associated with current-driven and pressure-driven low n external kink modes are identified.