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How does ITER plan to produce its plasma current?

  1. Jan 30, 2010 #1
    I've been looking on the internet and can't find the answer to this question. I'd like to know if it is generating current purely via the traditional inductive method, or if they plan to use any non-inductive method. I suspect the former but I need to know for certain.

    And could anyone confirm that JET doesn't use any non-inductive methods?

    Thanks for any help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2010 #2
    According to the ITER website:
    And from there the other heating methods are introduced. What other ways of generating a current in a plasm are there?
  4. Jan 30, 2010 #3


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    Besides Ohmically (by virtue of resistance to induced current) heating the plasma, magentic compression may be used. Beyond that are neutral beam injection, which also can be use to fuel the reactor, and microwave heating (in which the microwaves are coupled to the plasma by matching a characteristic frequency, e.g. electron cyclotron radiation heating).

    http://www.iter.org/SCI/Pages/Heating.aspx [Broken]

    Perhaps of interest: http://epsppd.epfl.ch/London/pdf/P4_171.pdf
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Jan 31, 2010 #4
    I didn't realize the other heating methods generated a current, but now that I think about it they are forcing charged particles along as well.
  6. Feb 3, 2010 #5


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    I was thinking more in terms of heating.

    The current is generated inductively, based on the principles used in a transformer. The current heats the plasma and generates a confining azimuthal magnetic field.
  7. Feb 4, 2010 #6
    Thanks very much for the replies guys. The other current method I was thinking of was the 'bootstrap' method. I had only seen talk of it being discovered, but further research implies that they will be experimenting with it in ITER.

    Another question which is more fundamental: a Tokamak generates current via induction like in a transformer, right? As the current through a primary coil increases, stops, decreases through zero and maxes out the other way, we get an induced current generated in the plasma. But at some point during that process the induced current is zero. As the current is required to produce a confinement field, what happens? Is confinement lost between every pulse?
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