Progress from ASDEX Upgrade experiments in preparing the physics basis of ITER operation and DEMO scenario development

EUROfusion MST1 Team, U. Stroth*, D. Aguiam, E. Alessi, C. Angioni, N. Arden, R. Arredondo Parra, V. Artigues, O. Asunta, M. Balden, V. Bandaru, A. Banon-Navarro, K. Behler, A. Bergmann, M. Bergmann, J. Bernardo, M. Bernert, A. Biancalani, R. Bielajew, R. BilatoG. Birkenmeier, T. Blanken, V. Bobkov, A. Bock, T. Body, T. Bolzonella, N. Bonanomi, A. Bortolon, B. Böswirth, C. Bottereau, A. Bottino, H. van den Brand, M. Brenzke, S. Brezinsek, D. Brida, F. Brochard, C. Bruhn, J. Buchanan, A. Buhler, A. Burckhart, Y. Camenen, J. H. Holm, T. Jensen, J. Madsen, V. Naulin, R. D. Nem, A. H. Nielsen, S. K. Nielsen, J. Olsen, J. Rasmussen, M. Salewski

*Corresponding author for this work

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An overview of recent results obtained at the tokamak ASDEX Upgrade (AUG) is given. A work flow for predictive profile modelling of AUG discharges was established which is able to reproduce experimental H-mode plasma profiles based on engineering parameters only. In the plasma center, theoretical predictions on plasma current redistribution by a dynamo effect were confirmed experimentally. For core transport, the stabilizing effect of fast ion distributions on turbulent transport is shown to be important to explain the core isotope effect and improves the description of hollow low-Z impurity profiles. The L–H power threshold of hydrogen plasmas is not affected by small helium admixtures and it increases continuously from the deuterium to the hydrogen level when the hydrogen concentration is raised from 0 to 100%. One focus of recent campaigns was the search for a fusion relevant integrated plasma scenario without large edge localised modes (ELMs). Results from six different ELM-free confinement regimes are compared with respect to reactor relevance: ELM suppression by magnetic perturbation coils could be attributed to toroidally asymmetric turbulent fluctuations in the vicinity of the separatrix. Stable improved confinement mode plasma phases with a detached inner divertor were obtained using a feedback control of the plasma β. The enhanced Dα H-mode regime was extended to higher heating power by feedback controlled radiative cooling with argon. The quasi-coherent exhaust regime was developed into an integrated scenario at high heating power and energy confinement, with a detached divertor and without large ELMs. Small ELMs close to the separatrix lead to peeling-ballooning stability and quasi continuous power exhaust. Helium beam density fluctuation measurements confirm that transport close to the separatrix is important to achieve the different ELM-free regimes. Based on separatrix plasma parameters and interchange-drift-Alfvén turbulence, an analytic model was derived that reproduces the experimentally found important operational boundaries of the density limit and between L- and H-mode confinement. Feedback control for the X-point radiator (XPR) position was established as an important element for divertor detachment control. Stable and detached ELM-free phases with H-mode confinement quality were obtained when the XPR was moved 10 cm above the X-point. Investigations of the plasma in the future flexible snow-flake divertor of AUG by means of first SOLPS-ITER simulations with drifts activated predict beneficial detachment properties and the activation of an additional strike point by the drifts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number042006
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number4
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Asdex upgrade
  • Confinement
  • ELLM-free discharges


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