Pellet-plasma interactions in tokamaks

C.T. Chang

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    The ablation of a refuelling pellet of solid hydrogen isotopes is governed by the plasma state, especially the density and energy distribution of the electrons. On the other hand, the cryogenic pellet gives rise to perturbations of the plasma temperature and density. Based on extensive experimental data, the interaction between the pellet and the plasma is reviewed. Among the subjects discussed are the MHD activity, evolution of temperature and density profiles, and the behaviour of impurities following the injection of a pellet (or pellets). The beneficial effect of density peaking on the energy confinement time, offset by the accumulation of impurities at the plasma core is brought into focus. A possible remedy is suggested to diminish the effect of the impurities. Plausible arguments are presented to explain the apparent controversial observations on the propagation of a fast cooling front ahead of the plasma. The appearance of striations and the curving of the pellet trajectory are discussed in detail. The possibility is described for using these observations to study the plasma current-density distribution as well as the existence of suprathermal electrons.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalPhysics Reports
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)143-196
    Publication statusPublished - 1991


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