Effect of the neutral beam injector operational regime on the Alfven eigenmode saturation phase in DIII-D plasma Articles uri icon

publication date

  • October 2023

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 16


  • 125004


  • 65

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0741-3335

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1361-6587


  • The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of the neutral beam injector (NBI) operation regime on the saturation phase of the Alfven Eigenmodes (AEs) in DIII-D plasma. The analysis is done using the linear and nonlinear versions of the gyro-fluid code FAR3d. A set of parametric analyses are performed modifying the nonlinear simulation EP ß (NBI injection power), EP energy (NBI voltage) and the radial location of the EP density profile gradient (NBI radial deposition). The analysis indicates a transition from the soft (local plasma relaxation) to the hard MHD (global plasma relaxation) limit if the simulation EP $\beta \unicode{x2A7E} 0.02$, leading to bursting MHD activity caused by radial AEs overlapping. MHD bursts cause an enhancement of the EP transport showing ballistic-like features as avalanche-like events. Simulations in the soft MHD limit show an increment of the EP density gradient as the EP ß increases. On the other hand, there is a gradient upper limit in the hard MHD limit, consistent with the critical-gradient behavior. AEs induce shear flows and zonal current leading to the deformation of the flux surfaces and the safety factor profile, respectively, particularly strong for the simulation in the hard MHD limit. Simulations in the hard MHD regime show a decrease of the AE frequency in the saturation phase; this is caused by the destabilization of a transitional mode between a $9/3-10/3$ TAE and a $9/3$ RSAE that may explain the AE frequency down-sweeping observed in some DIII-D discharges. Reducing the EP energy in the nonlinear simulations leads to a weakening of the plasma perturbation. On the other hand, increasing the EP energy causes the opposite effect. Nonlinear simulations of off-axis NBI profiles indicate a lower plasma perturbation as the EP density gradient is located further away from the magnetic axis.


  • Economics
  • Physics


  • tokamak; cfetr; mhd; ae; energetic particles