ITER will start its operation with non-activated hydrogen and helium plasmas at a reduced magnetic field of B0 = 2.65 T. In hydrogen plasmas, the two ion cyclotron resonance frequency (ICRF) heating schemes available for central plasma heating (fundamental H majority and 2nd harmonic 3He minority ICRF heating) are likely to suffer from relatively low RF wave absorption, as suggested by numerical modelling and confirmed by previous JET experiments conducted in conditions similar to those expected in ITER's initial phase. With 4He plasmas, the commonly adopted fundamental H minority heating scheme will be used and its performance is expected to be much better. However, one important question that remains to be answered is whether increased levels of hydrogen (due to e.g. H pellet injection) jeopardize the high performance usually observed with this heating scheme, in particular in a full-metal environment. Recent JET experiments performed with the ITER-like wall shed some light onto this question and the main results concerning ICRF heating performance in L-mode discharges are summarized here.
- ICRF heating
- RF waves