Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 46 / Number 1 / July 2004 / Pages 175-183
Technical Paper / Stellarators
Long-pulse operation and high-energy particle confinement properties were studied using ion cyclotron range of frequency (ICRF) heating for the Large Helical Device. For the minority-ion mode, ions with energies up to 500 keV were observed by concentrating the ICRF heating power near the plasma axis. The confinement of high-energy particles was studied using the power-modulation technique. This confirmed that the confinement of high-energy particles was better with the inward-shifted configuration than with the normal configuration. This behavior was the same for bulk plasma confinement. Long-pulse operation for more than 2 min was achieved during the experimental program in 2002. This was mainly due to better confinement of the helically trapped particles and accumulation of fewer impurities in the region of the plasma core, in conjunction with substantial hardware improvements. Currently, the plasma operation time is limited by an unexpected density rise due to outgassing from the chamber materials. The temperature of the local carbon plates of the divertor exceeded 400°C, and a charge-coupled device camera observed the hot spots. The hot spot pattern was well explained by a calculation of the accelerated-particle orbits, and those accelerated particles came from outside the plasma near the ICRF antenna.