L-H power threshold studies in JET with Be/W and C wall

C. F. Maggi, E. Delabie, T. M. Biewer, M. Groth, N. C. Hawkes, M. Lehnen, E. De La Luna, K. McCormick, C. Reux, F. Rimini, E. R. Solano, Y. Andrew, C. Bourdelle, V. Bobkov, M. Brix, G. Calabro, A. Czarnecka, J. Flanagan, E. Lerche, S. MarsenI. Nunes, D. Van Eester, M. F. Stamp, JET EFDA Contributors

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A comparison of the L-H power threshold (Pthr) in JET with all carbon, JET-C, and beryllium/tungsten wall (the ITER-like choice), JET-ILW, has been carried out in experiments with slow input power ramps and matched plasma shapes, divertor configuration and IP/BT pairs. The low density dependence of the L-H power threshold, namely an increase below a minimum density ne,min, which was first observed in JET with the MkII-GB divertor and C wall and subsequently not observed with the current MkII-HD geometry, is observed again with JET-ILW. At plasma densities above ne,min, Pthr is reduced by ∼30%, and by ∼40% when the radiation from the bulk plasma is subtracted (Psep), with JET-ILW compared to JET-C. At the L-H transition the electron temperature at the edge, where the pedestal later develops, is also lower with JET-ILW, for a given edge density. With JET-ILW the minimum density is found to increase roughly linearly with magnetic field, ne,min ∼ BT 4/5, while the power threshold at the minimum density scales as Psep,min ∼ BT 4/5. The H-mode power threshold in JET-ILW is found to be sensitive both to variations in main plasma shape (Psep decreases with increasing lower triangularity and increases with upper triangularity) and in divertor configuration. When the data are recast in terms of Psep and Zeff or subdivertor neutral pressure a linear correlation is found, pointing to a possible role of Zeff and/or subdivertor neutral pressure in the L-H transition physics. Depending on the chosen divertor configuration, Pthr can be up to a factor of two lower than the ITPA scaling law for densities above ne,min. A shallow edge radial electric field well is observed at the L-H transition. The edge impurity ion poloidal velocity remains low, close to its L-mode values, ≤ 5 km s -1 ± 2-3 km s-1, at the L-H transition and throughout the H-mode phase, with no measureable increase within the experimental uncertainties. The edge toroidal rotation profile does not contribute to the depth of the negative Er well and thus may not be correlated with the formation of the edge transport barrier in JET.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023007
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalNuclear Fusion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • impurities in plasma
  • L-H transition
  • radial electric field
  • tokamaks


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