To control the plasma current profile represents one of the most important problems of the research of nuclear fusion energy based on the tokamak concept, as in the plasma column the necessary conditions of stability and confinement should be satisfied. This problem can be solved by using the lower hybrid current drive (LHCD) effect, which was demonstrated to occur also at reactor grade high plasma densities provided that a proper method should be utilised, as assessed on FTU (Frascati Tokamak Upgrade). This method, based on theoretical predictions confirmed by experiment, produces relatively high electron temperature at the plasma periphery and scrape-off layer (SOL), consequently reducing the broadening of the spectrum launched by the antenna produced by parasitic wave physics of the edge, namely parametric instability (PI). The new results presented here show that, for kinetic profiles now foreseen for the SOL of ITER, PI is expected to hugely broaden the antenna spectrum and prevent any penetration in the core of the coupled LH power. However, considering the FTU method and assuming higher electron temperature at the edge (which would be however reasonable for ITER) the PI-produced spectral broadening would be mitigated, and enable the penetration of the coupled LH power in the main plasma. By successful LHCD effect, the control of the plasma current profile at normalised minor radius of about 0.8 would be possible, with much higher efficiency than that obtainable by other tools. A very useful reinforce of bootstrap current effects would be thus possible by LHCD in ITER.
Cesario, R., Amicucci, L., Cardinali, A., Castaldo, C., Ceccuzzi, S., Napoli, F., et al. (2012). Conditions for Lower Hybrid Current Drive in ITER. JOURNAL OF PHYSICS. CONFERENCE SERIES, 401, 012004 [10.1088/1742-6596/401/1/012004].