Gyrokinetic characterization of the isotope effect in turbulent transport at the FT-2 tokamak

P. Niskala, A. D. Gurchenko, E. Z. Gusakov, A. B. Altukhov, L. A. Esipov, M. Yu Kantor, T. P. Kiviniemi, D. Kouprienko, T. Korpilo, S. I. Lashkul, S. Leerink, A. A. Perevalov, R. Rochford

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Isotope effect allows fusion devices to perform better when heavier hydrogen isotopes are used as fuel, but the reason for this improvement is not yet understood. We present the first direct evidence of the isotope effect on particle confinement in the FT-2 tokamak and investigate it via gyrokinetic simulations. Experimental measurements for comparable hydrogen and deuterium discharges show that the particle confinement time increases by 40% for the heavier isotope species. The isotope effect on particle flux is reproduced in global and local gyrokinetic simulations. Global ELMFIRE simulations demonstrate a systemic reduction in particle fluxes across the radial range, showing a ratio of fluxes at the edge and at . Local GENE simulations agree qualitatively with the result. Besides the fluctuation level, smaller scales and a favorable shift in the cross-phase between the turbulent fluctuations are found to contribute to the isotope effect in the simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044010
Number of pages11
JournalPlasma Physics and Controlled Fusion
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Mar 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • confinement
  • gyrokinetic
  • isotope effect
  • tokamak
  • transport
  • turbulence


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