CE30 - Physique de la matière condensée et de la matière diluée

Plasma Turbulence - Neutrals interaction in the edge of tokamaks – PLATUN

Submission summary

The strategy to manage the extreme heat fluxes to the wall of magnetic fusion reactors relies on the dissipation of the plasma’s energy through interaction with the neutral gas present in the edge of the plasma due to plasma-surface interaction. The physics at play consists in a balance between plasma transport, dominated by turbulence, and atomic and molecular reactions related to plasma-neutrals collisions. The modelling of this extremely non-linear phenomenology is mandatory for the design and operational space definition of future devices like ITER. However, owing to the difficulty of the task, the modelling effort has until now essentially been separated along 2 separate axes. On the one hand, edge plasma turbulence codes addressed the modelling of turbulent transport without considering the presence of neutrals particles; on the other hand, edge plasma mean-field codes focused in the modelling of plasma-neutrals interactions but with a heuristic and oversimplified description of turbulence transport based on a diffusive approach. Progress in understanding and predictive capabilities of the phenomenology at play in the heat exhaust of magnetic fusion devices is now largely dependent on the consistent integration of both aspects in the same numerical tool.
The proposed project aims at achieving this critical step in the development of numerical tools for the modelling of the edge plasma of tokamaks. We propose to develop and exploit for the first time a code able to model self-consistently edge plasma turbulence and neutrals dynamics and their interaction with the plasma. Our starting point will be the SOLEDGE3X 3D edge turbulence code developed and IRFM and Aix-Marseille University partners. A proof of principle of the possibility to couple such turbulence code to neutrals physics was provided recently by project partners, demonstrating that available numerical tools are now mature enough to envisage this step towards self-consistent modeling of the edge plasma. This preliminary work also highlighted that addressing plasma-neutrals interactions in a turbulent environment raises specific issues related to the fluctuating nature of the solution. These will be addressed in order to improve the fidelity of considered models and the robustness/performances of the numerical tool. The newly developed numerical code will then be validated against experiments on 2 complementary devices, the SPEKTRE linear machine and the WEST tokamak. Finally, we will exploit its unique features to address one of the issues of edge plasma physics currently escaping modelling with conventional edge plasma modelling codes, with strong potential implication for the operation of ITER.
In order to achieve its targets, the PLATUN project brings together complementary expertise from 4 partner laboratories belonging to 2 related scientific communities, magnetic confined fusion and low-temperature plasma applications. Several of the key issues addressed during the project have been identified as being common to both communities but often tackled with different approaches. This way, the project will cast bridges between experts of these communities to ensure cross-fertilization of ideas for the mutual benefit of participants, ensuring progress for both fields of research.

Project coordination

Patrick Tamain (Institut de Recherche sur la Fusion par Confinement Magnétique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.

Partner

IJL Institut Jean Lamour (Matériaux - Métallurgie - Nanosciences - Plasmas - Surfaces)
PIIM Physique des interactions ioniques et moléculaires
LAPLACE LABORATOIRE PLASMA ET CONVERSION D'ENERGIE
IRFM Institut de Recherche sur la Fusion par Confinement Magnétique
M2P2 Laboratoire de Mécanique, Modélisation et Procédés Propres

Help of the ANR 476,071 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2021 - 48 Months

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