Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 46 / Number 1 / July 2004 / Pages 24-33
Technical Paper / Stellarators
Recently, dramatic progress has been achieved in the study of helical systems with high-beta experiments. Discharges with more than 3% beta plasmas have been achieved in Large Helical Device (LHD) and Wendelstein 7-AS (W7-AS). Although magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities affect local pressure gradients, the global transport property does not seem to limit the achieved beta value in either device. We summarize the LHD high-beta properties in MHD stability, equilibrium, and transport, and we show the relationship between the experimentally achieved parameters and theoretical predictions. We contrast the LHD results with the W7-AS high-beta properties. In both devices, stationary discharges in the definitely MHD unstable region have not been observed. We mention the key issue for achievement of the beta values >5%.