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Alpha-Driven Currents in Tokamak Reactors

Michael J. Gouge, Lee M. Hively, Dilip K. Bhadra

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 6 / Number 3 / November 1984 / Pages 537-542


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The effects of producing a net toroidal current in the Fusion Engineering Device (FED-A) by using an input magnetosonic (or fast) wave to modify the alpha-particle velocity distribution function through momentum transfer via the transit time damping process are studied. The alpha-particle distribution becomes anisotropic, producing a net current through collisions with the background electrons. The fast wave is found to be accessible, and resonances at cyclotron harmonics and the ion-ion hybrid layer can be minimized by choosing ω ∼ 4ωCD, where ωCD is the deuterium cyclotron frequency. The calculation is based on an alpha-particle velocity distribution function accounting for slowing down against the background plasma electrons. The efficiency of the process is found to compare favorably with lower hybrid current drive, but the magnitude of the induced current falls short of the FED-A design current with the assumed value of the wave parallel magnetic field.

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