The internal disruption as hard Magnetohydrodynamic limit of 1/2 sawtooth like activity in large helical device Articles uri icon



publication date

  • August 2012


  • 19

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1070-664X

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1089-7674


  • Large helical device (LHD) inward-shifted configurations are unstable to resistive MHD pressure-gradient-driven modes. Sawtooth like activity was observed during LHD operation. The main drivers are the unstable modes 1/2 and 1/3 in the middle and inner plasma region which limit the plasma confinement efficiency of LHD advanced operation scenarios. The aim of the present research is to study the hard MHD limit of 1/2 sawtooth like activity, not observed yet in LHD operation, and to predict its effects on the device performance. Previous investigations pointed out this system relaxation can be an internal disruption [J. Varela a al., "Internal disruptions and sawtooth like activity in LHD," 38th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics (2011), P5.077]. In the present work, we simulate an internal disruption; we study the equilibria properties before and after the disruptive process, its effects on the plasma confinement efficiency during each disruptive phase, the relation between the n/m = 1/2 hard MHD events and the soft MHD events, and how to avoid or reduce their adverse effects. The simulation conclusions point out that the large stochastic region in the middle plasma strongly deforms and tears the flux surfaces when the pressure gradient increases above the hard MHD limit. If the instability reaches the inner plasma, the iota profiles will be perturbed near the plasma core and three magnetic islands can appear near the magnetic axis. If the instability is strong enough to link the stochastic regions in the middle plasma (around the half minor radius rho) and the plasma core (rho < 0.25), an internal disruption is driven.