Journal article Open Access

Experiments with Liquid Metal Walls: Status of the Lithium Tokamak Experiment

Boyle, Dennis; Gray, Timothy; Granstedt, Erik; Kozub, Thomas; Berzak, Laura; Hammett, Gregory; Kugel, Henry; Leblanc, Benoit; Logan, Nicholas; Jacobson, Craig M.; Lucia, Matthew; Jones, Andrew; Lundberg, Daniel; Timberlake, John; Majeski, Richard; Yoo, Jongsoo; Mansfield, Dennis; Zakharov, L.; Menard, Jonathan; Spaleta, Jeffrey; Strickler, Trevor; Tritz, Kevin; Maingi, Rajesh; Soukhanovskii, Vlad; Gershman, Sophia; Kaita, Robert; Boyle Dennis; Gray Timothy; Granstedt Erik; Hammett Gregory; Jacobson Craig M; Jones Andrew; Kozub Thomas; Kugel Henry; Leblanc Benoit; Logan Nicholas; Lucia Matthew; Lundberg Daniel; Majeski Richard; Mansfield Dennis; Menard Jonathan; Spaleta Jeff

Liquid metal walls have been proposed to address the first wall challenge for fusion reactors. The Lithium Tokamak Experiment (LTX) at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is the first magnetic confinement device to have liquid metal plasma-facing components (PFC's) that encloses virtually the entire plasma. In the Current Drive Experiment-Upgrade (CDX-U), a predecessor to LTX at PPPL, the highest improvement in energy confinement ever observed in Ohmically-heated tokamak plasmas was achieved with a toroidal liquid lithium limiter. The LTX extends this liquid lithium PFC by using a conducting conformal shell that almost completely surrounds the plasma. By heating the shell, a lithium coating on the plasma-facing side can be kept liquefied. A consequence of the low-recycling conditions from liquid lithium walls is the need for efficient plasma fueling. For this purpose, a molecular cluster injector is being developed. Future plans include the installation of a neutral beam for core plasma fueling, and also ion temperature measurements using charge-exchange recombination spectroscopy. Low edge recycling is also predicted to reduce temperature gradients that drive drift wave turbulence. Gyrokinetic simulations are in progress to calculate fluctuation levels and transport for LTX plasmas, and new fluctuation diagnostics are under development to test these predictions. __________________________________________________

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