Fundamental physics studies of the heating and confinement of energetic particles in fusion reactor conditions with neutron diagnostics at JET and MAST-U
The Swedish Research Council reached a decision on November 4, 2021 on project grants and starting grants within Natural and Engineering Sciences. The Department of Physics and Astronomy is granted 44 160 000 SEK for the period 2021-2025 for in total nine project grants and three starting grants. The projects will begin during 2021.
Project title: Fundamental physics studies of the heating and confinement of energetic particles in fusion reactor conditions with neutron diagnostics at JET and MAST-U
Main applicant: Marco Cecconello, Division of Applied Nuclear Physics
Fellow applicant: Jacob Eriksson, Division of Applied Nuclear Physics
Grant amount: 3 400 000 SEK for the period 2022-2025
We propose to use neutron measurements to study the behavior of fast ions in fusion reactor relevant conditions.
This is part of a long-standing research effort aimed at developing and using neutron diagnostics to better understand the physics of fusion plasmas. The work will be carried out at the fusion devices JET and MAST-U, both located in the UK. State of the art neutron diagnostics and simulation codes will be used to model and interpret the experimental observations.
At JET, an experimental campaign with deuterium (D) and tritium (T) fuel will be executed in 2021, and the analysis of these experiments will be a major part of the project. This is a unique opportunity, since JET has not operated with DT fuel since 1997 and this will likely be the last full-power DT campaign before the next generation fusion device ITER starts to operate by the end of this decade. MAST-U has resumed operations after a major upgrade allowing operations in ITER relevant regimes complementary to those in JET.
We will focus on the characterization of radio-frequency heating schemes on JET and on the interactions between fast ions and plasma instabilities on both JET and MAST-U. On MAST-U, we will also explore the confinement of fast ions in regimes of sustained non-inductive current drive, which is another topic of key importance for the successful operation of future fusion reactors, thanks to a flexible neutral beam heating system and an upgraded neutron profile monitor.